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am I being assertive or unreasonable

(295 Posts)
skatingonice Fri 03-May-13 09:12:57

After a tough couple of years have decided to make ago of my relationship (of 12 years) but realised for my sanity I needed to be more assertive with what I want from the relationship.
There have been positive changes with house work (he can do some without being asked!) And a few other things too.

The sticking point is now sex. The has been a bit of a drout whist things were settling down but the last few times we have started we always stop as I want him to spend some time caressing me and turning me on, without just grabbing my breasts or putting his hand between my legs... Not saying he can't do these or I don't like them, just don't want him to start there. I have spoken to him, explained this, but he doesn't seem to get it, the other night I tried moving his hand on to my stomach (which I have said I like been stroked), another time I asked him to kiss my neck.... These are met with a blunt end to proceedings... He says I'm been unreasonable, those things don't turn him on so he shouldn't have to do them. I should just be turned on or be happy with where/how he wants to touch me. If I say please can you do x, the reply will be "well what are you going to do to turn me on? " but he is obviously already more turned on then me...He says I can only ask for things that are mutually enjoyable (I pointed out sex with both of us turned on would be mutually enjoyable)

I think he is obviously turned on enough for PIV sex from much less then I am. Is it unreasonable for me to expect him to spend some time getting me turned on too?)

claudedebussy Tue 07-May-13 13:55:23

yy very very nasty. insensitive, selfish, manipulative, doesn't give a shit.

i think the writing is on the wall. you left, you agreed mutual changes, changes aren't happening. time to move on.

PoppyField Tue 07-May-13 16:42:59

Hi Skating,
Sorry you are having to deal with this nasty, disrespectful behaviour. I agree with everyone else who says this is just the tip of a nasty iceberg. The 'sticking point' is not sex really is it? The sticking point is that he doesn't care if you are enjoying sex with him or not, he is being totally inconsiderate of your feelings and he is showing you he doesn't give a shit. And he doesn't seem to give a shit about the fact that you know he doesn't give a shit. In short, he is being absolutely blatant.

And being nasty to you about sex is a really easy way to knock your confidence and to make you feel uncertain about yourself, hence the 'Am I being unreasonable etc.?' He is deliberately trying to make you doubt yourself. It is hateful and he is being vicious and cruel attacking you in this way. The business with his phone wallpaper is just plain nasty. Nasty - and he is happy to let you know it into the bargain. What kind of person does this? You know the answer. The awful thing is that the person who is doing this to you is also the person who is supposed to love you most of all. A real kicker isn't it?

My first post on these august boards concerned my STBXH complaining that I was demanding in bed and unreasonable and that I was putting him off. He got shirty because I was actually standing up for myself on the issue and saying that I wasn't being unreasonable just because I wanted some pleasure too. He was doing the same kind of thing as your partner - no foreplay, no caressing and then expecting to enter me when it really would not have been comfortable. I realised he was making me feel awful and it wasn't right. I came on here with a similar post to your OP, and everyone piled in in a similar fashion, saying if this is what he's like in the bedroom, what's the rest of your relationship like? And I realised that he was being nasty, controlling, vicious all the time - and it was only when I stood up for myself - rather than treading on those eggshells - that I really understood how awful he was... he found all sorts of ways to get nastier....and using sex is a really easy weapon for a nasty abuser. They can make you feel unattractive, confused and hurt all at once.

Be brave and face up to it. He sounds like a really mean and nasty man who does not love or respect you. Nobody who loves you would be able to treat you like this.

BerylStreep Tue 07-May-13 17:31:27

What are you getting from the relationship? He doesn't sound very nice, and I wouldn't want to have sex with someone like him.

skatingonice Wed 08-May-13 09:02:53

What's in it for me: we have the same aspirations for life, same sense of humour, same interests & hobbies. We spend plenty of time together but also have own interests and time with friends. We'll both do little things for the other, picking up gifts when out, tidying house, running a bath, etc. He'll pick me up from random places (and play taxi to friends) after a night out our weekend away. Tells me he loves me, sends texts saying is thinking of me, hopes I have nice day etc. I get companionship, security, friendship, love. It's not all bad. Just that some things make me feel uncomfortable. He can be moody but I can be to. We both have strong opinions and views, which is fine when we think the same but a problem if we disagree.

BerylStreep Wed 08-May-13 14:28:17

Well, if other areas are good, do you think it would be worth exploring some sort of couples therapy?

Spero Wed 08-May-13 14:48:48

'If I try to talk to him I am told I am boring etc'

I think you need to read your posts back again - are you sure you share the same aspirations? Is this really what you hoped for and aspired to as an adult?

If so, fair enough, carry on. But you have asked for opinions and mine is I wouldn't give a flowery fuck if someone ran me a bath but dismissed me as 'boring' and uptight when I tried to talk to them about why I was unhappy.

skatingonice Thu 16-May-13 09:06:57

Not looking for more answers, I don't disagree with the points made but I need to give things time to see how they work out. Going to use this to document behaviour to see if things are as good as I imagine they are.

Last night he was spoiling for an argument. I got in from work to "is everything okay", "are you alright", "you're acting off with me / strange" (he couldn't quantify how when challenged later). Said I was fine and was in a good mood, had had a good day etc. I'm going away for a girls weekend so said I would go to the supermarket for him as a favour to stock up on food before I left (he had something on, I was not busy so just wanted to help out) when I was on route to supermarket he asked me to pick up a large crate of beer for him. I said I may not have enough cash as had left back card at home but would see. He went mad, lots of complaining, saying what was the point in me even going to the shop for him if I couldn't get beer etc.

Anyway I didn't bite and just ignored him. (I did get the beer).

Later that evening he starts with I've been off with him all evening... Then accusing me of chatting to people on facebook, asking when I last spoke to certain people (men) what I had said etc. I couldn't give him any specific answers as I don't really talk to people on facebook so any messages are few and far between (usually with members for a group im in for a hobby, and messages concern the hobby!). As I couldn't give specific details he says I'm lying and hiding things, as to show him when I last spoke to people... I told him he was welcome to look (he knows my password anyway) but that he was being out of order and was coming across controlling. I said I hadn't done anything to warrent this line of questioning and was not going to discuss the matter any further.

An hour late he gives me a gift he had bought that day. Why not give me the gift earlier? Why had he tried to pick a fight 3 times and then give it to me. All three arguments were to highlight my unreasonable behaviour (that wasn't there) and then he gets to be the good guy cos he bought me a present? Grrr.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 09:33:43

"Why had he tried to pick a fight 3 times and then give it to me."

Because you're still there.... so whatever he's gaining from this behaviour, it's working. You even bought his beer... hmm Anyone else would have said 'stuff your beer and you can get your own groceries'. But no, you 'didn't bite, ignored him' and then meekly complied

And you think he's the good guy?

Spero Thu 16-May-13 09:42:06

How much more time do you need? This is awful behaviour. This isn't the behaviour of a man who loves and respects you. It will only escalate as you are putting up with it and buying beer.

Any man who attempted to control my use of social media and the accused me of lying about it would immediately be told to leave. That's completely unacceptable behaviour.

amverytired Thu 16-May-13 09:51:11

He's spoiling for a fight because you have plans that don't involve him. Can you really not see that he is being unreasonable and controlling with the harassing questions about who you have spoken to and about what?
I feel sorry for you.

skatingonice Thu 16-May-13 10:07:27

I can see that he was unreasonable and controlling last night. Either this is relatively new behavior or I've only recently been able to spot it.

I'll continue to call him on it and see if it changes.

I've only recently become aware that maybe he is unreasonable and not me. I think last year I would have apologised and changed my behaviour so being able to spot controlling behaviour and not give into it is something new for me.

amverytired Thu 16-May-13 10:10:40

Given your op and recent post, my take is that you have not been able to spot this up to now. I still question whether you are able to recognise unreasonable behaviour.
Why do you think such a damaging relationship is worth hanging on to?

Spero Thu 16-May-13 10:28:13

I am so sorry. Buti think you are wasting your time.

This shouldn't be about how adept you are at recognising controlling behaviour. He should not be acting in this way. Not ever.

My mum told me last year about a friend of hers. Her husband controls all the money. She is desparate. But after 30 years she is so conditioned and fearful she won't leave. What a waste of a life.

Don't waste any of yours. Why is this worth it?

SolidGoldBrass Thu 16-May-13 10:34:58

Look, this man's behaviour is geared to demanding your attention, all the time. You are not supposed to think about anything other than what sort of mood he is in and how you can please him. So no matter what you do, he will make unreasonable demands, whine, accuse you of things, get his cock out, shout and stomp or be suddenly massively nice and give you gifts and complements. It's designed to confuse you, so you are thinking about nothing but him.

Honestly, make your plans and dump this loser.

Lweji Thu 16-May-13 10:37:27

Either this is relatively new behavior or I've only recently been able to spot it.

Or you're not biting his baits... So, he's stepping it up.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 16-May-13 12:25:20

Oh, OP.

Dump him.

Don't waste any more time on him.

He sounds fucking appalling. Don't accept it.

skatingonice Thu 16-May-13 14:59:23

Suppose this is normal for me so it doesn't feel as bad as it looks from the outside from your points of view.

It's only recently that is stated to feel... I don't know, more uncomfortable? Sometimes he'll day something and I'll think WTF, how ridiculous.

Have I really been falling for this shit for years? How much am I still falling for it now? Surely this is normal to some degree with anyone? Maybe my perspective is screwed.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 16-May-13 15:06:08

It's not normal, skating! Not at all!

It's not ok.

Keep posting and check out some of the support threads for those dealing with emotional abuse (ea), too.

I wouldn't give him five minutes of my company.

It's not you, men like him treat everyone they get in a relationship with like shit.

BerylStreep Thu 16-May-13 17:10:30

Yes, the 'you are being off with me, you are in funny form' is an old trick.

It puts you on the back foot by having to deny it and reassure that you are fine.

skatingonice Thu 16-May-13 17:22:26

Beryl - I get that ALL the time to the point where I'm always watching myself to make sure I'm not being.

I told him last night not to say that any more but to be specific if he had a problem, more like: "you have done x and is made me feel Y"

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 17:42:32

Good grief, don't give him more ammo....

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 17:51:27

"Have I really been falling for this shit for years? How much am I still falling for it now? Surely this is normal to some degree with anyone? Maybe my perspective is screwed."

Your perspective is skewed rather than screwed. He wouldn't have started out being this obnoxious, verbally and sexually abusing you... he has gradually ramped it up over many years taking your tolerance level up with it so that it feels quite normal to you... but looks appalling to everyone else. You're still 'falling for it' by tolerating three completely fabricated examples of fight-picking over nothing without kicking his sorry backside out of the front door. And you're still 'falling for it' by thinking you can reason with someone like this (you have done x and made me feel y etc)

Bullies cannot be reasoned with because they only care about their victim in terms of 'what can I get them to do for me?' rather than thinking about them as a person with feelings or opinions worthy of consideration. That's why he won't kiss your neck...

badinage Thu 16-May-13 17:54:08

None of this is normal and we've already established that you were conditioned in your own family to accept terrible behaviour from men and regard it as 'normal'.

So yes, it's likely this has been going on since Day One and that he specifically targeted you once he realised that you were the sort of woman who would put up with what few other women would.

It's you who's changing - not him.

But you've got a lot more work to do accepting that this is an abnormal man in an abnormal relationship.

Spero Thu 16-May-13 18:11:26

He won't change. Sorry, but he won't. He sees the world in terms of what he can get, what others will do for him, not what he can do for anyone else.

I really think you are wasting your time with him. Sorry, I know from personal experience it is very difficult to accept this but the alternative - staying for another 12 years - is worse.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 18:20:42

It is not normal to any degree with most people, reasonable people. It is quite standard for abusive/paranoid/very selfish people, so if all of your friendships and relationships are like this that night be why. I would guess that all of them aren't, though. Perhaps you have a friend who you can just be yourself around and don't have to worry about whether you night be coming aecross as "in a mood" or offending them somehow by accident? That is what a relationship should be like, except you get all the good stuff too like love and support and good, mutually enjoyable sex with someone who wants to please you more than themselves.

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