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.
Is it best not to be in a relationship?(28 Posts)
I'm in a newish (over a year) relationship after an abusive marriage and recently have started worrying that it was too much too soon for me. As if the lack of drama and everything being easy has become too much, and at the same time I feel wrong for feeling like this. I keep asking myself if it is normal to get on all the time? I've started to constantly worry the lack of criticism from my bf means I'm not giving enough to the relationship.
I also find my boyfriend so nice that I wonder if it's just normal or if I'm not seeing his flaws. I also feel I'm not giving enough within the relationship.
My bf and I never argue and recently one of my friends said it's not normal and that everyone argues. She reckons it's healthier to have things out. I hate confrontation and find it hard to say when there's something I don't like, but my boyfriend generally picks up I'm not happy and then we talk. So we have resolved disagreements, just not argued as such. Is this OK?
Second thing is in bed he's very focussed on me and pleasuring me. I'm not complaining, but sometimes I feel I'm not doing enough for him, that it's impossible he could be satisfied with just PiV sex. I feel silly writing this as he's never expressed dissatisfaction but he never asks for anything. Is it normal? He says that seeing me enjoying it is enough of a turn on for him. Would men be happy with just that? I worry he'll turn round one day and tell me I'm boring.
My ex was sexually abusive, he raped me, and he was very controlling, also financially and emotionally. I feel sometimes that I can't cope with normality despite having had therapy, and that my boyfriend would be better off with a better woman. I have no other point of comparison than my ex for a relationship either. I'm having major wobbles today, that I should be on my own.
My relationship is similar, we don't argue, we have disagreements but we talk about it until we're back on the same page. And sex is about me, until it's about him. It involves both of us so both of us have to enjoy it.
It isn't necessarily healthier to have a screaming argument about any issues. Every relationship is different and every person is different. And if you're happy, and he doesn't treat you like your ex did, then that's great. Enjoy being loved and cared for.
separating out your experience....one reason I love being single is there's no drama or irritation.
I think there's a stigma attached to being single and some people feel they "ought" to be in a relationship. Is it possible you fall into that category?
Please don't sabotage this! (not that you would deliberately do so, of course). It's natural after having been through so much that you compare this to your last relationship, and question things. The thing about this relationship is that the good stuff is coming very easily to you, and you're not used to feeling that way. Please just try to relax and enjoy it. A good relationship shouldn't ever feel like hard work, and you do deserve this. You are worthy of being loved and treated PROPERLY.
This is by no means a criticism, but in the ideal world, you'd have taken longer after your last relationship, and really worked on yourself and your self-confidence. This probably is a bit soon, and you're struggling because you're still processing what went on before.
Do continue to see this guy and enjoy your relationship, but I would definitely give counselling a go at the same time.
Best of happiness and luck
can I be honest, was your last relationship not like thsi for a good while? I have had 3 long term relationships (2 marriages) and in all cases the crap stuff only appeared after the first 4 years.
yetmorecrap My ex was abusive early on. I stayed and it got worse but it was never how it is with my bf now. I was young when I got with my ex. Are you saying my bf has yet to show his true side?
goldfish I fell into this relationship and I wasn't looking for one and that might be a reason why I doubt everything. That I feel I haven't looked around much or waited.
pohara and Dieu thank you. I've got counselling still, though sporadic as I can't afford it. There wasn't a big gap between the two relationships. He's really nice and I enjoy the relationship. Recently things have felt more serious between us, and I think it's making me panic.
In my long term relationships I've never argued.
Don't see the point.
Discuss and come to a compromise or agree to disagree.
You've been through hell in your previous relationship.
Did you get any support when it ended?
Any local DV support services?
If not then I suggest calling Womens Aid to get the ball rolling with getting some help and support.
Even doing their Freedom Programme will help you.
Did ever get help for the rape?
If not then rape crisis can help you as well.
This is all very new to you.
You are so conditioned you don't know what is right.
Get some support and you'll get there.
If you're OK/happy/content in a relationship, I would tend to think 'stay.' As I said on here recently; being single is OK if you're well off/solvent, but if you are quite poor, it's a different story. Many people I know who are single and on basic pay have miserable, poor lives with naff-all.
Upshot is, life is no picnic if you're single and poor. If you're solvent and fairly wealthy, (mortgage free perhaps, a six figure sum in savings, a healthy pension plan etc,) being single is fine, but if you're quite poor, it's not a great life for most.
Virtually everyone I know who is poor and a bit destitute, and who can barely afford to top up the electric meter, is single. I know a number of women (and a few men,) who are on zero hours contracts, who fight for hours at work, just to be able to afford to live.
I know very few poor couples. I mean, plenty of them aren't super wealthy and do struggle sometimes (especially if an unexpected large-ish outgoing comes along,) but they do manage, and they do cope. They have the odd pub night out, the odd holiday, a decent car, and a couple of hobbies each, and a decent quality of life.
This is due to double income (usually,) and having virtually the same outgoings as a single person. I would take being married over being single any day of the week, and my husband says exactly the same.
I don't think you should settle for any old shit relationship, but if it's OK, and you are quite happy most of the time, I would stay.
Some counsellors will accept only what you can afford to pay. I would definitely look into it more, OP. Your mental wellbeing is so important, and will guide you in your decision making.
My husband and I have been together a long time and we never argue. Of course we have disagreements and we want to bop each other on the head, but we talk it out and resolve the issue. I have never yelled at him and he has never once yelled or screamed at me. I think your new relationship sounds good. Just start communicating with him. Tell him your concerns and tell him about your insecurities due to your past relationship.
Your new partner sounds lovely OP - i assume he knows all about your ex and what you've been through? It's perfectly natural for you to be analysing your relationship carefully, but remember you have ended one terrible relationship and survived and if this new relationship turns out to be something you don't want for whatever reason, big or small, you can end it and survive again.
It's good to know that not arguing is OK. I feel so daft sometimes for not being sure about how to be. My friend was saying that having it out is a healthier way to live. She's quite fiery and argumentative sometimes.
I did the Freedom Programme online. I got support initially but not for very long. I have a job now and function all right day to day. I generally have a bad day when I have time to think, like today. My bf knows some of my history. He's been very supportive. I try not to overshare though.
It all sounds normal and nice to me OP. I think you are only doubting things because of your ex.
I came out of an abusive relationship and got with now DP after a year. Been together 4 years and we very rarely argue - never swear at each other or raise our voices. Its not to say we don't disagree, but we both prefer rational discussion to screaming arguments. Neither of us fared well in relationships with people who prefered the 'shout it out' approach.
So no, arguing isn't required in a relationship, but you do need some sort of conflict resolution that works for you - so long as you're both able to raise any issues and find a mutual solution, crack on.
Is there a Freedom Programme course you can attend near to you?
It's much better to attend in person.
You get so much more support and understanding from women who have been through what you have.
Could you look at local support groups for sufferers of DV?
Maybe Womens Aid can point you towards one that might help you.
See your GP for counselling referral.
You could well be suffering for PTSD.
Unfortunately it's becoming very common in severe DV cases and it's fully recognised now.
Try everything you can to get some support around you.
You BF sounds normal and supportive.
Keep going. Keep talking to him.
You don't have to 'overshare' but you do need to let him know your feeling sometimes when you are struggling.
He sounds like he'd be there for you through it all.
No shouting or arguments here either (17 months). We have disagreements but we discuss things and sort them out that way.
Some people are fiery argumentative types who 'need' an argument to clear the air I think. Some people don't. Sometimes it depends on the person you're with. I can explode if pushed far enough - my Mum knows the right buttons to press - but my boyfriend and I just don't work that way, discuss rather than wind each other up, and it's lovely.
If you talk things out, this is you 'having it out' You have disagreements and discussions about things that make you unhappy. You are just not having nasty fights about it. Your idea of a normal relationship has been skewed due to your previous experiences. Don't confuse lack of fighting with lack of love and passion.
Ive never argued in a relationship
I grew up with rowing parents and wouldn't date anyone who did rows.
Lily I'm so surprised by what you say on money, having a partner is expensive and if they go out of work it's your problem too. Anyway that's a whole other thread I expect.
I didn't start off with an argumentative partner but seem to have acquired one over the years. That to me was a huge shock
"My friend was saying that having it out is a healthier way to live."
But you are having it out, OP, through talking and resolving your issues- you said so yourself. You just happen to be mature enough to be able to manage this without behaving like toddlers. Doesn't mean issues don't get resolved just as effectively as if you both lay down on the floor and kicked your heels.
I would say that for me it goes
1 Very good relationship
2 Quite good relationship
3 Medicore relationship
4 Bad relationship
Others may bump up Quite good relationship and move Singleness down one, because of their personal preferences or situations.
Some people move Single down to below a Mediocre relationship, or even lower, because they have learned that being alone is the worst thing ever. It's not.
Yes, it really is normal to be in a happy relationship where your partner treats you nicely.
Thanks - it's nice to hear it's normal. Cory you made me laugh. My ex is really horrible but he's a bit like an old toddler.
We talk things through. Like thoughtfox said they're discussions. I actually talk to him more than I did to ex. I hate rows or bickering, there is a lot of that in my family which I can't stand. I've had counselling and that's helped me not repress talking to him. I did that at the beginning before he knew about my past and it led to difficulties a bit but we sorted it out.
There is no drama at all. It feels too easy because with my ex I was constantly on tender hooks and spent my life making sure he didn't get angry. Sex with ex was hard work because it was all about him not me. Now I feel like I do nothing except receive almost. I apologise sometimes, which bf thinks is mad.
hellsbells thanks. I haven't really looked at support groups. I'd find it difficult to discuss this with lots of people to be honest. My GP knows and prescribed anti-depressants. I often feel flat and detached also, especially in some circumstances. I haven't really prioritised myself as I've had a lot of problems with divorcing ex.
Trills I have nothing against being single at all. I don't think it's mediocre. I question myself perhaps because I didn't really think of the consequences of dating again so soon after an abusive relationship.
I wasn't suggesting that you were one of the people who had low standards and preferred a rubbish relationship to being single, I was just talking around the subject.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.