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abuse survivor in a possible controlling relationship(6 Posts)
Hi there, this is my first post and am in need of some advice and collective wisdom! I have been in a relationship with a lovely man for 8 months after being single but dating for several years. Some things had been bothering me and I sent an email to him on Friday. It was to do with my dissatisfaction with our sexual relationship, so not easy to write and I am sure not easy to read! I was molested as a child and think perhaps I passively allow sex that is not always satisfying for me - not always but particularly with this man - he was bullied as a child and his previous partner had been abusive toward him. He had had much counselling and I was his first relationship in 5 years. There were a few problems with him maintaining an erection in the beginning and he was not able to stay erect if I was on top - my favourite position! I find it difficult to orgasm in other positions but he did try in the beginning of our relationship with some success, but I was often left unsatisfyed and frustrated. I had been so concerned about his history that I had negated my own needs - telling myself things would get better as we got to know each other's bodies and as the relationship grew we would be more open and able to talk about it - it never happened. Lately he has only been in pursuit of his own pleasure and this along with controlling the pace of the relationship, when we see each other and not really connecting or me feeling we had real intimacy together. He has also started making snide comments - about what I eat, what I wear and how I spend my time - I'm an artist and he has a proper job (!). I am surrounded by friends in couples - all successful, loving relationships that spend much time together and I spoke to him about wanting more of that. He said he needed space and that the relationship could only go as quickly as he was comfortable - he said his job is stressful and he also has a son that he has part-time - my friends are all artists and have more time I guess. I was respectful of his need to control the pace of the relationship even though at times I found it hurtful and felt he was keeping me at arms length. The last few weeks I had been growing resentful of not having enough time or real intimacy and connection - and the sex was really not great for me (how could he not see that?!). So I feel I have compromised so much of what I need. In the email I wrote to him I tried to explain how being an abuse survivor affects can affect peoplein adult relationships, my coming into my own sexuality over the last couple of years and then how I had been very understanding of his history but felt I had negated my own needs in the process and that me not having an orgasm during sex is not normal or desirable for me. Pretty much a torpedo of an email but I did my best to word it kindly and asked that we could discuss the issue -he was very angry and unable to - I haven't heard from him since Saturday. Sorry this is so long! I would like to find some therapy but cannot afford it (starving artist...) as I do not want to repeat this pattern - I should have spoken up earlier but I think he was being manipulative. I don't know. Is unloving sex abusive? He was certainly in control of all aspects of our relationship. Is this a pattern of abuse survivors? Any advice on where I could seek affordable counselling would be very welcome.
He doesn't sound very caring. There's a danger after a 10/10 abusive relationship of mistaking a 5/10 abuser for a good guy, and I wonder if that's what you're doing here.
He has also started making snide comments - about what I eat, what I wear and how I spend my time - I'm an artist and he has a proper job (!).
Regardless of everything else, this should be completely unacceptable. It is not how one speaks to someone one likes let alone loves.
It's often remarked that the first couple of years ish of a relationship should be like a honeymoon. If he's that unkind, intolerant and critical after only eight months, how unkind is he going to get?
If your best sex and his best sex are incompatible then that's a problem, but one that most people would try to mitigate by compromise. Instead he's saying "I'm getting mine: if you're not getting yours then tough shit." Do you think he's sexist (men's pleasure > women's) or selfish (my pleasure > anyone else's)?
I don't think this sounds like a very good relationship for you. You could reasonably end it.
And then you can chart your progress from utter bastard to slight wanker to ... kind and funny sex god?
Thanks MrsHathaway! I like the idea of a kind and funny sex god! Yes I think he is just selfish - I never complained so he has just gradually stopped trying - he is the injured party and so looking after his own pleasure.
I am so disappointed as had been out of a long term relationship for a long time - I think perhaps I still have work to do recognising potential bully's and my own complicity. I'm angry too at how he's handled it - it's deserving of at least a conversation - albeit a difficult and uncomfortable one.
The comments about clothes or food are out of order.
You felt that he controlled the pace of the relationship- how often were you able to meet up? If once a fortnight then that's rubbish and a bad reflection on him. But if you wanted to see him every day then that was unrealistic of you as people have lives.
On the sex front - it's down to you to help your partner deliver what you're after. Unless you show/tell him, he won't know so it's grossly unfair to then have a go at him. If you need intimacy, e.g. long forplay, kisses, cuddles before and after etc then just pace it like that - don't jump to the intercourse until you're ready for it. If say, you want to cuddle up after sex and communicate that to him but he just runs off to the bathroom etc. Then that's shit of him.
Yes I absolutely agree - should have spoken up sooner. Things actually had improved hugely last year but then regressed and it all became about him - I kept excusing it. It's the more recent snide remarks and the realisation that we are not really connecting in a level that I need in a partner. He is hugely sensitive and and has been the victim of bullying and partner abuse so I think was just being overly aware of this - also his stress and busyness with work and his son. Sometimes we were only seeing each other fortnightly - it was very difficult for me but I tried to be understanding and kept hoping things would improve. I don't need to see him everyday - he lives out of London and I centrally and I like being central - I have my life and friends and work here - two or three times a week would be plenty.
Fortnightly over eight months is about fifteen times. You haven't much to lose if you decide to call it a day.
It may well be that you two aren't compatible. In a way it's a blessing to find out so soon. In any case, it's very healthy to recognise when there's a mismatch and not settle just because you think you can't do better - you both deserve more than that.
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