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Will anyone ever love me as I am?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Mark 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #300363

    Janine
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’m in a relationship, soon approaching our one year anniversary. This is my longest relationship so far. It’s been tricky since the beginning. My partner has been one foot in, one foot out for most of it until recently. He’s broken up with me a few times because he wasn’t sure if a relationship with me is what he wants. This alone has been very hard on me.

    Our relationship started in an not ideal way. We met as roommates in assigned campus housing. We ended up talking a lot and having fun as friends. He was in an open relationship with another girl at the time (which I had utterly no idea about) but ended up kissing me one day. Things took off from there, and in the next couple of weeks, he told me about his other date and said he wanted to break things off with her. I was kind of hurt and confused, I didn’t really know what to make of the fact he did not tell me sooner. I told him I was in an open relationship before and was done with that, and we agreed to only date each other.

    I did not realize this while it was happening (oh my, I’m so oblivious), but our relationship started in a detrimental way. He did not take me on dates. He lied constantly. He did lots of drugs without me knowing (once I planned a vegan nachos night with a couple of our friends and he showed up high on PCP, and did not tell me until 6 months later). He masturbated to other women and told me about it. He told me I wasn’t turning him on and that he had to imagine other women to stay hard during sex. So yes, all his behavior was screaming “this is not what I want”.  But then, when I tried to leave him, he would come back and say that he was just confused or scared and I am what he really wants after he reflected on things.

    It was heartbreaking to me when I found texts from the girl he was dating before me and saw that he was CONSTANTLY asking her on cute dates and planning things for them to do together (I’m talking like every day, whether she responded to him or not, up until the day he kissed me).  When I asked him about why we never went on dates, he told me he hates going out and was happy that he and I just spent time at home together. He said he did not like going on dates with the other girl, but felt like he had to in that situation in order to ever see her. I still felt unwanted.

    In addition, I had also found out that he followed 100+ women models on Instagram. When I asked him about it, he was kind of defensive at first but eventually ended up telling me he masturbates to them. He likes their “tight tummies and large breasts”, as he says. The thing is, I don’t look anything like that, I never will, and have no interest in it. There is more about his masturbation/sexual interests that are very specific and unattainable for me. He says he is attracted to lots of things, including me of course. But to be honest, it makes it very hard for me to be around him other/hotter women. It makes me sad and uncomfortable to think what he might be thinking/feeling about them. Not that this is his fault, but these things haunt me. I do truly feel I’ll never be good enough for him.

    Thank god many things have changed over this past year. A few of these things have gotten a lot better as time has gone on. It took a while, but we now go on dates together fairly often (due to me). Even if he starts off going begrudgingly, I can tell that most times he ends up really enjoying going out with me now. For a while during the school year, we made it a weekly routine to go to a different coffee shop in town every Saturday to study. It feels good to me that he became more comfortable going on dates with me, and no longer sees it as a burden. That’s just one example. Sex has also gotten better in some ways. And as far as I know, he now only smokes cigarettes and drinks occasionally. Overall, he has become more dedicated to relationship. I can see a lot of his behavior before (and he says it too) was because he was afraid, uncertain, and bottling up a lot of things. I think when he became for comfortable being honest is when he started to feel less trapped by the relationship. He now sees a therapist who is supportive towards him working on being in a relationship with me, and he says he is happy about that.

    The problem is that because the way the relationship started, I now have a lot of trust issues with him and I constantly worry that I’m not what he wants. And like I said earlier, knowing he has other sexual fantasies and preferences still lingers in my mind. I am not his “ideal”, and I have to face that every day, every time I flip through social media, every time I’m out in public with him. Sometimes it makes me want to shrink away when he touches me because I am so embarrassed. Though other times, I do not think about it as much because I am more focused on enjoying the moment with him, which is nice. When it comes down to it, we are close and enjoy spending time together.

    I do ask myself if  there could be some other reality for me. Is there a relationship that I can feel secure and wanted in? Could I ever feel pretty enough for someone (small boobs and all)? Is there someone out there who would love to take me on dates?

    I realize that these things are all superficial, so maybe I should just be focusing on other things?

    Let me know what you think.

    Thank you in advance,

    Neen

     

    #300405

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Neen:

    Regarding a man desiring other women while in a relationship with one woman, finding other women more attractive, more sexually desirable than his own partner or wife- I imagine in 9,999 out of every 10,000 relationships, if those last long enough, this will be the case because every woman ages over time and there is an influx of young women showing up throughout a man’s life, be it at his work place, in a coffee shop, on the streets and online. No aging woman can compete with a young woman who is in shape and who didn’t even start aging (the aging starts at about 25, I think).

    The man definitely shouldn’t tell his partner about those desires, other women being more attractive, that is hurtful and cruel. But to desire others, to think of other women as more desirable, that is his business (what he thinks and feels). After all, you might look at another man, now or later (when he ages, if you stay with him long enough) and think and feel an attraction to another man. That will be your business and there is nothing wrong with it as long as you don’t share it with your partner.

    Regarding the rest of your post, if he no longer acts in cruel ways toward you, as he had in the past, if he corrected his ways and never repeats, then forgiving him may be wise. Consider attending couple therapy with him, maybe with the same therapist he is now seeing individually, for a few sessions (while he continues individual therapy with the same therapist) so to voice your concerns, to see to it that your boyfriend’s cruel and dishonest behaviors do not repeat and so that the therapist will facilitate effective communication between you and your boyfriend.

    anita

    #300419

    Valora
    Participant

    I do ask myself if  there could be some other reality for me. Is there a relationship that I can feel secure and wanted in? Could I ever feel pretty enough for someone (small boobs and all)? Is there someone out there who would love to take me on dates?

    I feel like, based on what you’ve said overall, this guy probably isn’t your match. You two might be able to make a relationship work with some effort, but I do think it’s likely there are other guys who would be attracted to you EXACTLY how you are, your body type, your personality, etc., and who would let you know daily how beautiful they think you are and you would not feel insecure with them (but make sure you believe these guys when they tell you what they see in you. Sometimes it’s hard to do that when you feel insecure). From what you’ve said, this guy doesn’t have a sort of natural attraction to you but I am 100% sure there are guys out there who will. That’s the type of guy you should be with. Someone you naturally connect with, and you will know it when you meet one because things will flow effortlessly and he will be very clearly interested without so much confusion.

    As for this guy, it could be that you are a placeholder until he meets someone else, which would be why he came back every time you two broke up. He didn’t want to be alone. Please keep in mind this doesn’t mean anything negative about you, it’s more a reflection of himself.  I could also be wrong and he may have genuinely had issues that prevented him from fully connecting with you, and in that case, you’ll have to work on trusting him. If you want to stay with him and see how it goes, I’d see if you could attend a therapy session with him and his counselor. Counselors are usually very open to having people come into sessions as long as the patient is okay with that, too.

    #300553

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Janine,

    My initial thoughts are why on earth are you with this man and why have you tolerated his ugly, demeaning behaviour for so long.  I think you should turn things around in your head and instead of asking yourself if you are the woman he wants, ask yourself if this is the man that you want.  Seriously.  I agree entirely with the comments made by Valora.

    Please do not stay in this relationship because you think no-one else will want you.  They will!  Buy a couple of good books and work on your own self esteem/self worth.  Believe in yourself and eventually you will find the secure, loving relationship that you so desire.

    Peggy

    #300567

    Mark
    Participant

    Janine,

    Good communication is essential in any romantic relationship which means you two need to share your feelings with each other. Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication process is an excellent way to do that for there is no blaming so it is a safe way of being vulnerable.

    I also like the 3 rule approach to communication: Is it true? Is it useful? It is it kind?

    You mentioned how being in the moment is when it is nice. That is a great practice. Continue doing that. Plus focus on what is good about the relationship, about you as a desirable partner and about you as someone who is good regardless of who are you with, i.e. love yourself.

    Mark

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