Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Please give me your opinion on this(34 Posts)
So I have been with DP for about 2 years now, am in my mid twenties. We currently have a long distance relationship but hope to be living together in the next year or so. I love him dearly.
I used to be fairly promiscuous due to low self-esteem and weird relationship at the time. I have not cheated on DP nor felt the wish to, it actually makes me feel sick to think of kissing/sleeping with anyone other than him.
I went out tonight to a club with some mates and had fun. Mates left but I still felt like I wanted a dance so I stayed.
I started dancing by myself and a random guy started dancing near me obviously interested. I was a bit flattered and did not tell him to fuck off but kept dancing as I was before, He shouted his name to me and I smiled and nodded but kept dancing, he didn't touch me or dance close to me but kept in the vicinity and facing me IFSWIM.
I went into another room and he followed, I just danced like I would if I was by myself. Started to get a bit uncomfortable so went outside, met a guy I had a ONS with a few years ago and chatted, caught up with where our lives were nowadays, chatted about our current partners etc. Had a quick hug and went back inside.
Slipped on the wet floor and random dancing guy helped me up. Thanked him and started dancing by myself and he danced nearby. Went to the loo, started dancing again in a different place and he was there again. Felt uncomfortable then saw old ONS guy nearby. Asked him if he was travelling nearby to where I was going (felt he was safe and wanted to minimise taxi fare) and he said he was going on to a different club.
Waved goodbye to him and left without acknowledging random dancing guy. Got in a taxi alone and came home.
I feel like I may have done something wrong either by chatting to ONS guy or not telling dancing guy to fuck off. Feel very weird now I am home. I do not want to do anything against DP but feel like I gave too much leeway to the other guys.
What do you wise women think? Sorry for the essay.
Well, you haven't done anything wrong I don't think. You wanted to have a dance and you had a dance. Then you went home.
You talked to someone you knew and then you waved at him.
If this had happened to me, I would have told dh the things that had happened in the same way that I would tell him what had happened in the previous part of the evening.
Its funny, I know I didn't actually do anything like snog someone but I feel as if I have. Maybe I shouldn't have kept dancing when that bloke was near me or hugged ONS guy. Honestly at the time the hug felt like a mates hug and nothing sexual.
I think I'm doubting myself because I used to be fairly free with my affections and don't want to hurt DP in any way.
Arrgh! Its difficult caring for someone so much that I don't see all the time so can't bounce my insecurities and worries off!
Yes, I suppose if you were seeing him straight away he would say 'how was last night?' And you would say about the falling over and the man eyeing you up and it would be you and dp against the world sort of thing.
Ring him in the morning and bring it up.
Perhaps you feel guilty as you were in the sort of place where previously to your relationship you met men. You might not have felt like this if someone had chatted you up at sainsburys or you had seen the other chap in the dentists waiting room.
You're totally overthinking this. You went to a night club, danced alone, spoke to one man and another was interested in you. If you're that insecure and unsure whether your own behaviour is good or bad you really need to straighten yourself out before you commit to your LDR. I'm sure your DP is a very nice person but if you go into a cohabiting relationship with such poor self-esteem and doubt about boundaries, you're setting yourself up to be exploited. Rely on someone else for your self-worth and you make yourself vulnerable.
Have you ever had counselling for the previously weird (abusive?) relationship effects. Ever tried to consciously tackle your low self-esteem and residual feelings of guilt?
Has a partner (past or present) ever told you or made you feel like this behaviour is wrong?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with anything that you did. However, if I had had an evening like this when I was married I would have been feeling just as you are feeling now, purely because of the mindset my ex had got me into. It took me a long time post separation to understand what was going on.
Please know and understand that you haven't done anything wrong.
I think you handled it well. Let it go.
Thanks for the reassurance guys. I think Savoy has it spot on that it was the place I used to pick up men so I think in my head I was in dodgy territory even being there by myself.
Cogito is also correct that my last relationship was probably abusive in certain ways and has given me boundary issues. I think I can work through these myself though, this was one of my wobbles and as far as wobbles go this was pretty minor. DP truly loves and respect me which is a big healer.
I posted this when I got home pissed and too wound up to go to bed. Thanks guys.
I'm sure you can work through things yourself but, if what you described above was a 'minor' wobble, I do think you should consider counselling. Abusive relationships are very damaging because they skew your perception both of yourself and of how others treat you. Your DP probably does love and respect you but, if your perception is off and your sense of self is not rock solid, it's very easy to sleepwalk into more of the same.
You might benefit from checking out the 'Freedom Programme'. Good luck
Did you shag either of them? No.
No worries. x
Sorry,by 'minor wobble' I meant I just had a massive overthink (rather than shag someone or something), this is the most major wobble I've had since being with DP. Probably because its the first time I've been out by myself.
I think I'd feel a little fraudulent on the freedom programme, I still struggle to think of my ex as abusive since so many women on here have it way way worse. It was weird stuff as well, he didn't beat me or anything, just messed with my head a bit. Its also been two years since I broke up with him and I'm mostly doing fine. I had 'issues' as a teen which I worked through by myself so I reckon I'll be ok.
Its nice to talk about it on here though. Comforting.
Emotional abuse and 'messing with heads' can be just as damaging long-term as the traditional idea of domestic violence. Reason being that emotional abusers exploit the intimacy of a relationship to make you feel insecure about yourself... so insecure that they can control you... whilst at the same time making you believe this is normal.
It really isn't normal to enjoy an innocent evening out with friends - or even by yourself - and come away feeling that you've cheated on a boyfriend. Someone or something is still controlling you by influencing your thoughts and your behaviour.
People brought up in repressive cultures or religions often feel guilty for no reason. Is that a factor?
Its almost the opposite Cogito. I am and always have been very liberal and open minded which I think he exploited.
We had an open relationship where we would sleep with others but not emotionally attach. He was very interested in my dealings with others. The worst example was when he wanted me to sleep with his friend and I didn't (friend was not the most stable person). Anyway he went on about it for months until I gave in. He took me to friend's house and friend ended up hurting me. Ex took me home immediately and I was pathetically grateful and thought he was looking out for me. However he then started going on about repeating the experience and it only took him a few months to get me back there.
That relationship sounds completely screwy. No wonder you are unsure of boundaries.
Fwiw, I agree entirely with Cog.
Ex was kind of bonkers, he only hit me once but he could be quite physically controlling.
A weird thing was when we argued (always about his behaviour). I would go very quiet and not say much, he would get very wound up and repeatedly tell me to hit him. I have never felt the urge to hit someone during an argument, I usually just feel sad, never understood why he wanted me to hit him (I never did BTW).
So he conned you into this 'open' relationship, pimped you out to his abusive (rapist) friend, pretended to be your saviour and then coerced you into repeating the experience? That's not messing with your head, OP, that's straight up sexual abuse and at a time in your life (late teens/early twenties) when you are still working out what kind of person you are. If this is only a couple of years ago, the panic attack you experienced is quite understandable. You should really talk to someone.
Only hit you once? ... He probably wanted you to hit him so he could hit you back. There is no 'only' about hitting... it's criminal behaviour and, along with the other stuff you describe, I'm convinced the police would be interested in this person.
Maybe I should, it sounds so bad when you put it like that but it didn't feel that way at the time. With the 'friend' I wasn't dragged kicking and screaming, I went along with all this.
When he hit me it was an odd situation. I was messing about and put a cold drink against his skin to make him jump (something he had previously done to me). He whirled around and backhanded me across the face. Said it was an instinctive reaction to being shocked.
No way would I go to the police, its abusive behaviour but I couldn't prove it happened and I don't think it would help me at all. I don't think it would count as rape because I went along willingly.
This is what I mean about control. Even now you think you were acting out of your own volition when what I'm seeing - and I realise the story is not in depth - is a manipulative, abusive, violent man that steered a very young woman down a particular and highly destructive path, handed her over to a rapist twice and managed to convince her that she was 'free with her affections' and somehow responsible for getting hurt. He made you jump with the drink so he could slap you. He wanted you to hit him so he had an excuse. Being coerced into sex is rape.
And you wonder why you were panicking last night just because someone was kind to you or wanted to dance with you?
You may not want to talk to the police and I respect that but, as demonstrated by all of these celebrity abuse cases in the news at the moment, it's not necessary to have proof of his behaviour. If you give them his name I would bet any amount of money there are others that have come forward and given them the same name.
However, he is not the issue here. You are. For your own wellbeing and peace of I would again urge you to think about counselling.
I've been on MN for years and never posted about Ex before I think because I knew people would be shocked. Its difficult to think about and I find myself justifying why it wasn't that bad, maybe to protect myself.
I would also urge you to seek counselling.
There is wonderful support here but you deserve dedicated real life support too.
I'm so sorry you've gone through all this and borne it alone for so long.
Join the discussion
Please login first.