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Is this pure coincidence?(32 Posts)
I'm a late 30s man, relatively shy and had a very hard time in my teens and twenties. For various reasons including depression, assumed family responsibilities and shyness, I didn't have any romance in my life until I was 30. All 3 women including I have just found out my current girlfriend have been abused either emotionally/sexually/physically in the past. I had counselling today and my counsellor said it was because I am a safe unthreatening man and so a convenient bridge back to a normal love life for these women. I know you don't know me, just wondered what you thought?
I wouldn't look too deeply into it, sadly very common, not unusual at all.
Being unthreatening isn't a bad thing.
It doesn't mean you're a 'bridge', just that they have done some work and decided they are over dating arseholes.
Have these women mistreated you? To call you a 'convenient bridge' is odd unless you've been taking about feeling used by your girlfriend(s). There's nothing wrong at all with being unthreatening, who in their right mind would choose a threatening partner?
Which does sound preferable. Sad that so many women have been mistreated though
And no, they did not mistreat me. I didn't say I felt used at all no.
Sounds like a ridiculous thing to say. A "bridge back to a normal love life"? More like what Broken1Girl said, and they decided they'd rather date a kind, unabusive man than be ill treated again. I would find another counsellor who wants to get to the bottom of YOUR choices of a partner, rather than one who thinks he/she knows all about the motives of people he or she has never even met.
Sounds like your counsellor has some very odd ideas about men. Are most men threatening that women need bridges to them? Sounds very strange. I'd want to ask your counsellor exactly what they meant by that.
I'm no expert but I think a lot of women like kind, gentle men. I wonder if you give off a sense of being understanding? Sounds like you're doing something right, anyway.
I think she (counsellor) has an underlying theory that I am gay which I am not. That is I believe why she is exploring this approach. Very kind and helpful comments by the way
You do get weird people who think gentle men must be gay but it's a very old-fashioned way of thinking.
In my experience kind gentle blokes make excellent husbands.
I'm the daughter of a kind gentle man, and the wife of another.
Neither of whom could be described as some mere 'bridge' or insipid milk toast. Not remotely.
Perhaps your counsellor associates heterosexual male attractiveness with machismo or even aggression? Which makes the counsellor weird, not you.
I was in an abusive relationship.
now im drawn to kinder more gentle men. It's just what i want.
There are certain wounds that kind of mirror and attract each other though.
Bit of a mean thing for a counsellor to say ie, telling you that you were merely a bridge for other people. How can she possibly know what you represented to other people. She can only ask you to think about what they represented to you!
I had psychotherapy after leaving x and she couldnt have told me what i meant to other people. How could she?! All she could do was make me think.
When I met my husband, I had ended an emotionally abusive relationship a couple of years before. I very consciously decided that I wanted to be with a kind, caring and empathic man - I.e. Very different to my previous partner of 10 years. Best decision I ever made: to be strict about the type of man I would let myself get involved with. There is no "bridge" about our relationship: in my mind, it's here to stay for the long haul (and been married for 7 years so far.)
Secondly, I echo what someone else said: it's unfortunately very common for women to be abused at some time in their lives, so I don't think having three girlfriends in a row who have experienced this is some statistical anomaly at all.
I had absolutely no idea how many women had been in some way abused by men, even though I thought I was well informed etc. I am so very sorry for all those who have experienced this. Nobody deserves this and if I ever get around to having children I'll do what I can to make sure our sons are kind and loving and our daughters love themselves enough to want kind and loving men as well as being that way themselves. Seriously though, I honestly thought the horrible stuff was some kind of anomalous tragedy you hear about on TV. The word needs to get out even more!
My DH and DF are very kind and gentle and unthreatening men. They are also incredibly charming, funny, fun exciting men. You sound lovely! Keep being lovely!
My DH's uncle always accused him of being gay because he is also not a womaniser and never has been. He is also not gay (or cares about people thinking he is!). Ridiculous theory of your therapist.
In answer to your question though, yes there is so much abuse out there.So very much. I think it is good these women trust you enough and feel secure enough to tell you about it.
Well there's a lot of abusers out there
And IME most women who have been through the dating scene have been raped or sexually assaulted at some time
I know very few women's who've NOT been abused, mostly those who met a decent man/ woman when they were quite young and stayed with them
Your cousellor sounds quite pants TBH. Are you finding it helpful ?
There is an idea that if you have been in an abusive relationship there must be something 'wrong' with you, you see it on here sometimes.
There isn't, it can happen to anyone. I think it's 1 in 4 women are likely to experience DV during their lives and of course 2 women a week are killed by their current or ex parents in England and Wales. It certainly isn't uncommon.
I don't know what your counsellor is talking about re you being a bridge, if she wants to explore your sexuality and you're quite happy there isn't anything to explore there I would think about finding a different counsellor.
What lead you to counselling?
As you are older, many women you relate to will have had relationships before. Those in good relationships are still there, except for bereavement, for the most part. In our 30s, we are more likely to be starting families and want a stable life, so probably more likey to leave if the relationship was really bad (read abusive).
So, I think it's a coincidence, in that it will be difficult to find a single woman with no baggage.
On the other hand, if all relationships were short and they moved on to others pretty soon, then it would make you think. Not that you are gay or not threatening "enough", but that you had indeed been used. Not in a bad way, as they may not have realised it, but still, as way of reinstating faith in men.
However, maybe you are not as non threatening as you, your counsellor or they thought.
Speaking from experience, the man I had a relationship with after exH did seem quite nice and non-threatening (but then so had exH at first), but some aspects raised yellow flags go me, even red. I left.
It is possible that you do have behaviours that they end up finding threatening in some way and you don't even realise it. Maybe even they don't realise it, but just trust their instincts that something is off.
It may not be the case, though.
In all probability you just need to go through what most young people go through, and that is a few relationships before finding the one.
There are certain wounds that kind of mirror and attract each other though.
I think your counsellor is trying to point out a relationship pattern you have and get you to reflect on what this may mean in terms of how you form bonds. I think relationship patterns are very revealing about ourselves. Often the types of relationships people seeking out say a lot about their personal tropes. Liking bad boys, wanting to mother someone. Often people learn and do things differently in a subsequent relationship (maybe too differently!) Sometimes people get stuck and have the same relationship again and again with different people. For the latter it xsn be helpful to work out why they got stuck and are repeating.
There's nothing wrong with being safe and unthreatening - quite the opposite. And more women havd experienced abuse than we like to think. But are you stuck in a role where you play nursemaid in all your relationships. Are you able to ask for your needs to also be met in a relationship or are you only able to relate to others by being useful to them? Can you express your needs as well as meet another person's needs?
Depression shyness etc can be rooted in a childhood where having and expressing your own needs was not permissible. This unmet need can turn inwards as you aren't fully self actualities leading to all kinds of less helpful ways in which this surfaces. Addiction depression compulsions etc I think your counsellor may be trying to get you to consider this. Only you can know if they have a point or not.
Well this has been an eye opening experience. I had the therapy for depression and anxiety which have been major problems for me. I suppose the counsellor was thinking that I bolster low self esteem by seeking out people who have suffered, or they seek me out, then almost encouraging them to sort of rebalance things. She used the eg of one time a few years ago when I spent a completely chaste night in bed with a woman who told me later she had had a very bad experience with a man. I didn't know this at the time, and if that is what she needed, to know that a man can be safe and control his desire, well so be it. Once again though I am completely shocked and amazed at the amount of women who have experienced maltreatment by men. I don't think many of my male friends have a clue about this either.
Your counsellor sounds quite odd. Lots of couples spend a night in bed and don't have sex , for dozens of reason eg One of both doesn't feel like sex, just want a cuddle, are tired/ ill/ upset/ just want to talk .
She seems to be promoting some kind of toxic masculinity, when a man must always be " up for it " and willing to pressurise a woman to meet his demands , and be threatening ( because she has condemned you for being unthreatening and said you are not Normal ) .
Honestly, are you finding the counselling helpful ?
BTW some of then men you know who " don't know about abuse " will be abusers or rapists.
So they will say " no I've never raped a woman " , although they have had sex with a woman who was too drunk or high to consent. Or with a prostituted woman, or with a girl under 16. Or when she asked them to stop and they ignored her.
Because they think these things don't " count " .
They've never " assaulted a woman" , although they have groped her or touched kissed her when she didn't want to. But that was just ' a bit of a laugh '.
Lots of men aren't " violent ", although they have hit / slapped/ pushed / threatened a woman when she provoked them / disrespected them / talked back to them / disobeyed them . But that " doesn't count " .
thank you for listening to womens views on MN. Most men who come here don't do that ,they are here to tell us we are wrong about our own lives
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