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He will not acknowledge our relationship. I feel pretty crazy.

(92 Posts)
FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:04:10

I want to know if I am going crazy. TIA confused Oh, and I've namechanged because my usual persona on here is quite breezy/funny (I like to think)/enjoys Style and Beauty. I didn't want to lose that.

Anyway, here goes nothing - My boyfriend will not make our relationship public, or admit that we are in a relationship at all. He apparently holds the view that there 'is no relationship before engagement.' I must add here that he is Christian, and very inolved in his church. He worries about his reputation in the church.

You'll notice I have referred to him as my boyfriend. THAT IS BECAUSE HE FLIPPING WELL IS. He has been with me through getting sober (I'm a recovering alcoholic), we tell each other 'I love you' and mean it. We are in a long distance relationship, we discuss our future together, we have met each others families. (For sad, convoluted reasons involving churches, my family and he do not see eye to eye. But that's another happy issue!) When we spend time with each other, it is wonderful.

But. A couple of days ago things came to a head because I had discussed him with a mutual friend, who was his friend first, word somehow got back to him, and he was angry. He thinks somehow that this will affect his reputation confused. He goes on about not wanting people to know his private business. And he comes out with this supposedly biblically supported thing of 'no relationship before engagement.' I feel so hurt, dismissed and angry by this. When I try to discuss it with him, I just end up massively upset and/or yelling. I want a bit of normality, not for him to shout it from the rooftops or anything.

So resentful. Any perpective would be good, though I know the whole thing sounds really confusing and weird. Sorry it's long, just felt like a stream of consciousness.

Russianfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:28

I have quite a few Christian friends and whilst nine of them seem to have long term relationships before marriage (I always thought they married quick so they could shag) they certainly do have relationships and these are acknowledged by the church and their families.

I find this odd, to be honest.

Russianfudge Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:48

None of them, not nine!

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:10:46

Hahaha, at the marrying quick for shagging purposes! That is yet another issue...

Ragwort Tue 11-Mar-14 16:11:09

That is seriously odd, what sort of church does he belong to?

He is treating you with a total lack of respect which does not sound at all Christian.

Do you really want to be with someone who behaves like this? If I was you I would preserve my dignity and calmly end the 'relationship'.

Could he have another girl friend at his church?

MysweetAudrina Tue 11-Mar-14 16:12:38

It doesnt sound good from a number of perspectives. He is not being honest with your or his church. If he has strongly held beliefs then he should live by them and not be pretending to. Are you having sex? Does he believe in no sex before marriage? is that what he is trying to hide from his church friends? Most faiths have no problem with dating how else would you find a suitable partner? If he is serious about you then he would introduce you as his partner and would ask you to marry him. It sounds like you might be his dirty little secret??

sittingatmydesk Tue 11-Mar-14 16:14:03

The phrase, cake and eat it, spings to mind. He either wants a relationship with you, or doesn't.

I personally wouldn't stand for it for a second. Just tell him, he's either open with everyone, proposes if he's so bothered abd uptight, or he's dumped!

PoshPenny Tue 11-Mar-14 16:15:20

what you describe is not my experience of actively religious people of the Christian faith at any rate. I find your description of his behaviour most odd, and I think you are right to question it. Very peculiar.

TheScreamingHeebieJeebies Tue 11-Mar-14 16:15:38

That's extremely odd. I have quite a few Christian friends from a variety of churches and they've all had relationships that they've acknowledged before engagement, even though they weren't sleeping or living together.

I'm afraid the first thing that occurred to me, given that it's a long distance relationship, is could he be having other relationships or be married?

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:15:45

I have been going to his church, though in a different city if you see what I mean, for a few months. Most people there don't know that we are connected, but he's not trying to hide me in that sense... The sex before marriage thing is DEFINITELY a problem - we used to have sex, we do mot any more. However, we do other things - as good as sex really - which he then feels guilty and conflicted about. He would never want his church to know this.

BillyBanter Tue 11-Mar-14 16:17:03

well you do have a relationship. He has a relationship with his parents, with his friends and with his church. Perhaps he could define what this relationship is if not girlfriend/boyfriend? How does he introduce you to people? Friend?

Are you sleeping together? If the relationship is 'friends' then that can stop for starters.

Do other people in his religion have partners before engagement?

If it is long distance can you be sure he's not married?

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:17:34

No, no - he is definitley not married! Ha. He is not having another relationship (or whatever) either. I trust him, plus he could never sustain the lies if that did somehow arise.

We are both early 20s by the way.

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:18:15

He's at uni in another city, we see each other weekly.

MrsBartowski Tue 11-Mar-14 16:19:53

In your position I'm sorry to say my biggest concern would be that he is keeping his options open within the eyes of his church.

He wants to be seen as available doesn't he?

I also have to agree with Russian - I know many many christians who do have relationships.

You deserve so much better and I honestly think for the sake of yourself and your sobriety you should find someone who will recognise your worth as a girlfriend and rejoice in that!

Pippilangstrompe Tue 11-Mar-14 16:19:58

I grew up in an area where there were quite a few different types of Christian church, some of them which involved a very committed Christian lifestyle and I have never, ever heard of any one where being girlfriend/ boyfriend was a problem. This is just something he is making up to string you along.

MysweetAudrina Tue 11-Mar-14 16:21:17

Honestly it sounds like he believes he should be celibate but is finding it difficult that he is being drawn to you sexually but feels like he is weak because of it. Really if he wants to stay strong in his faith he should be ceasing the sexual contact with you and if he is serious about you he should be introducing you as his partner. Of course you would have to be ok about this arrangement. Could you wait until after marriage to have sex. Even if you are not having full sexual intercourse any kind of sexual contact is breaking the law of celibacy which I presume his church exepects him to keep. Cut out the sexual contacf and see where you stand with him.

HairyGrotter Tue 11-Mar-14 16:21:23

Run like the wind. He is showing no Christian morals in his behaviour. He is lying, manipulating, and copulating!

I'd go and find someone who is proud of you, seems he's ashamed and doesn't want your history to affect his present. He is mugging you off

WhotheWhat Tue 11-Mar-14 16:21:49

Why did the shagging stop? Is he a born again?

FetchezLaVache Tue 11-Mar-14 16:23:01

If he has strongly held beliefs then he should live by them and not be pretending to.

^^This.

No good will come of this, OP. If he has religious reasons for not going public (i.e. he shouldn't be going out with you because it's Wrong), then he shouldn't be going out with you. This is no way to be treated.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 11-Mar-14 16:25:10

What church is it OP?

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:25:55

I am a Christian too, I don't want to make it seem as though I'm pointing the crazy finger at him or something. The shagging stopped after a pregnancy scare.

Weegiemum Tue 11-Mar-14 16:26:20

Some extreme evangelical churches go for the "courtship" model, where all relationships are supposed to lead to marriage. It's a pretty niche view.i grew up in a broadly evangelical church and had boyfriends.

Sounds as if he's not that sure about the relationship, tbh.

OcadoSubstitutedMyHummus Tue 11-Mar-14 16:26:55

He is either ashamed of you of ashamed of being in a relationship. Or both.

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 11-Mar-14 16:27:15

He wants a reputation with his church that he doesn't really deserve. I don't think that degree of pretence and deceit is healthy at all.

And denying a relationship with you is odd because it is unnecessary-are his fellow church-goers really going to be dismayed that he is courting, to use an old-fashioned term? It's more likely to be expected.

Although ultimately, your active religious life is probably a red herring. This is an old old tale not uncommon on MN of lacking commitment and hedging your bets. Men who do not want tell people that you are their girlfriends are not wholly sure how much they want you to be their girlfriends. Sorry, OP.

FlippingFlippetyFlip Tue 11-Mar-14 16:27:46

It's a Presbyterian church.

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