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Overreacting? I hope so.

(32 Posts)
hundredsandmillions Thu 30-Nov-17 10:38:59

Have namechanged for this as may be identifying. BF and I have been seeing each other since May. FWIW (don't want to drip feed) we have been friends for almost 5 years.

Background: BF has a 'crazy ex' - except I and others in our circle knew her and she was genuinely an emotional abuser and in everyone's opinion could do with some professional help for her issues. It took him almost a year to get 'over' the relationship (not her but the situation IYSWIM).

BF and I really enjoy our time together, we're taking it slow but have a lot of trust and commitment. He is usually very good at understanding that I am 'not her' despite the fact she put him through hell. Last night however we were on the tube. I wanted a kiss, so sort of put my head on his shoulder and looked up at him. I think I was trying to achieve a 'flirty' look?! I don't even know - it's never been the sort of thing I've analysed.

After a moment he looked at me and quite shortly said, "I think you'll find that sort of thing isn't effective on me". I was shocked, so pulled away and went quiet. I said, "I just would have liked a kiss". He then kissed me.

On our way walking back to his I felt I had to raise it - that I wasn't playing some sort of game, or trying to be 'effective' at something - his implication was that it was a manipulation of some sort. Perhaps so but an entirely innocent one? I don't feel I have to announce my intentions for a peck, and this hasn't happened before.

Writing it down it sounds very, very minor and petty. It was the way he said it - I felt small and humiliated, as if I'd done something ridiculous. We had a good talk about it - he was apologetic and owned that it was a hang-up from his previous GF. And that sometimes he needs 'reminding' if he's straying into that territory.

So - the talk was good. But today I feel a bit blank, and generally less positive about the whole thing. I don't want to be in a relationship where I have to think in minute detail about what I do, in case it's perceived in the wrong way based on his experience of someone/thing I'm not.

Overreacting? I think/hope so.

Dollius01 Thu 30-Nov-17 10:42:19

TBH it sounds like he still has major issues from this previous relationship and my advice would be to drop this for now.

Ellie56 Thu 30-Nov-17 10:43:59

Has he ever had any counselling or therapy to deal with the previous relationship?

happypoobum Thu 30-Nov-17 10:44:35

Kissing on the tube is rank tbh.

I probably would have pulled away if someone tried to kiss me on the tube. I think you are overreacting - which is good news, right? smile

hundredsandmillions Thu 30-Nov-17 10:48:52

happypoobum literally a peck! I am not a prolific PDA-er as it were. Tongue is strictly verboten in public. It wasn't that I approached and he pulled away. Trust me, I wasn't doing anything unsavoury. I don't think. blush

Yes, he has had counselling, for quite some time - it really seemed to help but perhaps revisiting would be a good idea. This would be something I wouldn't be nervous to suggest.

DanielCraigsUnderpants Thu 30-Nov-17 12:01:38

I can understand why you'd feel a bit off about it though. If I were you it would feel like a bit of a kick in the teeth but I am a sensitive soul. Try to take his apology as genuine, keep being you. If it keeps happening then maybe its time to take it a bit more seriously

Gemini69 Thu 30-Nov-17 12:07:20

His response to you was pretty weird .... what a weird thing to say... hmm

pallisers Thu 30-Nov-17 12:38:44

Weird reaction. I would not have been impressed.

It may have been a blip or may be indicative of an attitude that would be hard to live with. If it were me, I'd file it away and see how things go - you are at a very early stage still, still figuring out if this is right/assessing each other.

PNGirl Thu 30-Nov-17 12:53:50

No, I don't think you are overreacting as that is an OTT way to respond.

I'd be a bit nervous now myself as it shows small things may make him snap into defensive mode and bite your head off. If he does it again I would call him on it there and then, like "Don't speak to me like that".

hundredsandmillions Thu 30-Nov-17 13:02:28

Dollius - I suspected someone would say this and, it has crossed my mind. If we had not known each other for so long - if he was an unknown quantity - i'd be leaning more in that direction.

I'm glad I wasn't imagining that his response was odd.

DanielCraig (and others) thank you - I think this is where I've landed. When I called him on it he wasn't defensive, he listened, he apologised (I believe genuinely). Also, in the quite long time I've known him he has proved that he's a good person. My hope is that it's a blip - but I'm going to be keeping an eye out. I'm quite a soft soul but I do have boundaries and am not afraid to speak out.

Kick in the teeth is right - I told him I felt humiliated and he was very, very sorry about that. I'm going to file the incident and he'll be aware I will have done so.

Thank you everyone - just writing this down has unwound my tension a bit. I appreciate it's a small thing, so thank you for replying.

Gemini69 Thu 30-Nov-17 13:03:27

I agree PNGirl this response speak volumes to his character.....

have you considered his Ex wasn't so crazy after all hmm

ELT1982 Thu 30-Nov-17 13:37:30

To be honest I’m with Gemini...what a weird reaction; personally (and this may seem a bit harsh on him but I’ve been the one ‘treading on eggshells’ before in a relationship) I couldn’t be arsed with all that, I’d drop him and go find someone who makes you feel amazing before he damages your self esteem by pecking away at it with his weird reactions and lame excuses, I can understand to a certain degree what we’ve been through can affect our future relationships but for something as minor as that to mess with him...nah goodbye sunshine! I think you deserve better smile

Dozer Thu 30-Nov-17 13:43:05

His reaction was indeed weird and unkind, as you’ve noted.

It also sounds like you are conscious of his “vulnerability” and acting differently because of his past relationship? Watch that he is equally considerate of your needs and wishes.

If he’s been single for a year and had therapy there’s not much excuse for him taking out past baggage on you as he did on the tube.

hundredsandmillions Thu 30-Nov-17 13:43:35

Gemini sadly no, she was definitely 'crazy'. I knew her. I won't go into detail but having witnessed some things firsthand and seen emails/texts (as well as knowing BF for 5 years, before she came along), there is no doubt in my mind as to who was at fault in that relationship.

That doesn't devalue what you and PNGirl are saying of course. No matter how lovely BF has been generally (as a friend and latterly as a BF), or how badly his ex treated him, I don't deserve to be spoken to like that. I am not the problem. So I will be keeping an eye on it.

FetchezLaVache Thu 30-Nov-17 13:44:12

I'm with everyone who thinks it was a weird thing to say. I get that he's given it the whole apology and contrition thing, but did he at any point explain exactly what it was he suspected you of trying to manipulate him into?

hundredsandmillions Thu 30-Nov-17 14:55:37

Bugger I just deleted my entire post. So apologies, this is briefer than I'd like.

He did explain (I won't go into it too much - I had noted a particular set of behaviours in his ex around affection and I can see how he might have seen a resemblance through a very suspicious lens. My issue is a) how he dealt with that feeling and b) that he suspected me of this. I feel offended by that.

Dozer yes I am sensitive to his vulnerability - that's a very good point. Having seen him miserable for quite some time, his happiness is very important to me - I can't let that blinker me to any negative behaviours. However he is also very considerate of my needs and wishes. No red flags until this.

Some really good advice here and what I've decided to do is bring it up again (he will understand why) to reiterate some of the things I've said, having had some time to think on it and some different viewpoints.

munkynutts Thu 30-Nov-17 15:33:31

I think that was harsh of him and I like you would be hurt.

But its understandable based on his past experience.

I think you should drop it.

However I can kind if see his point - its that whole "little girl" manipulation thing. Its not what you were trying to do, I get it, but actually if you really analyse it (and I can see the scene in my head), its kinda the same message. "Im so adorable, I have my head on your shoulder like a little kitten, arent you going to kiss me?"

I KNOW that sounds unkind OP but do you get it?

If you want a kiss, then kiss him.

Hermonie2016 Thu 30-Nov-17 16:20:44

Your radar is working well.I think you are doing good to articulate how it felt.

Remember no one made him react as he did.He has choices in his responses and it could suggest he is unkind when triggered.
Those triggers are more likely to be childhood related.

Jellyheadbang Thu 30-Nov-17 19:56:32

Hmm. To me what he said sounds manipulative and creepy. I have been with men before who have been so ‘badly treated ‘ by their ex that they have an excuse for every type of undermining behaviour and spend the whole relationship making you feel insecure and second guessing yourself.
I think it’s important here that you say you noticed behaviour around affection from his ‘crazy’ ex but are not elaborating. Please address this in more detail if this is what you’re using to explain away his behaviour.

What he said was spiteful and was engineered to make you feel stupid. Nothing else.

Watch yourself and know that you will either be the next ‘crazy’ ex or you will spend your life becoming whatever it is you think he needs in order to recover from her.
Know that no matter what you do it will never be enough to ‘cure’ him of the after effects from her.
Also, be careful of labelling people as crazy. Did she have genuine mental health issues?

LesisMiserable Thu 30-Nov-17 21:47:48

Can we call a spade a spade here? You think he was suggesting you were trying to manipulate a kiss out of him and therefore being (here comes the n word) needy! - and you are at pains to have him understand and reiterate that wanting a kiss is not manipulative or needy and you are not his ex. Am I near the mark here? I think you're overreacting a bit at the perceived rejection and extrapolating it into.something other , you've handed him the reign re his ex and he's run with it. I say stop analysing it, let it go and next time you want a kiss, be direct.

pallisers Thu 30-Nov-17 22:15:24

let it go and next time you want a kiss, be direct.

So she should change her behaviour to accommodate his history with his ex and his over reaction? Wouldn't be for me.

It is only a small thing but at this stage in the relationship you are adding everything up and assessing whether he is right for you or not. If you have to change perfectly normal behaviour so someone doesn't get upset - well that would be entered on the debit side for me.

LesisMiserable Thu 30-Nov-17 22:42:51

Lotttts of women arent into PDA's, nobody asks,them to change. He didnt like the cutesy approach, that's his choice. If she doesn't want to be with him because he's got ishoos from his ex - that's hers.

pallisers Thu 30-Nov-17 23:05:43

He didnt like the cutesy approach, that's his choice.

The issue isn't that he didn't like the cutsey approach - no problem with that. The issue is how he spoke to her.

"I think you'll find that sort of thing isn't effective on me".

That's arsey in response to a girlfriend putting her head on his shoulder. And the solution isn't to tell her not to put her head on his shoulder but for him not to act like he is the headmaster giving a talking to to a student.

Jellyheadbang Thu 30-Nov-17 23:25:23

I concur wink
His response/reaction was to insinuate that she was playing some sort of manipulative game by putting her head on his shoulder and doing doe eyes.
All those flirty mannerisms and physical behaviours are part of the age old courting ritual and if ill met this is perhaps sign that you’re not compatible.
If he views this innocuous behaviour as threatening then you are automatically going to adjust your behaviour to fit in with what he deems acceptable.
I never knew to listen to my gut. I remember in our first holiday together trying to snog my now exdh. I went in with the tongue and he bit it aggressively and then told me he felt violated by my tongue.
Needless to say we never had and big fat raunchy snogs for the duration of our relationship and our sex life was sterile to say the least.
I could see the colour draining away from my life but because I’d not grown up with any boundaries, role models or nurturing I didn’t think it was his fault.
I blamed myself and spent the rest of the relationship trying to accommodate and adapt to fit his expectations of what a woman should be.
I became bland and beige and many people remarked upon it.
He even described me as ‘the quiet one’ as a complement.
Anyone who knows me knows that is not the case.
I was gutted when I heard him say this.
Part of the reason I divorced him was in order to show my kids you do not have to compromise any part of your true self in order to be happy.
I was a shell of my self and am still in recovery nearly five years on.

Cricrichan Fri 01-Dec-17 04:45:11

Op his response is chilling.

Someone you know as a friend is not how they necessarily are to their oh. Very few people know first hand how my dh is with me. He is completely different with other people and I also thought I knew him as I'd known him for 15 years before getting together with him (though he wasn't a close friend, but a friend of a friend). I thought I knew his family well until I became part of it and even then it took a few years to see the fucked up ness, his mother's narcissism and how it has affected him and his siblings (it took one of his siblings over 40 years to realise and finally go NC with his mother).

I'm not saying that you don't know your bf, just tread carefully and treat him like you would someone you're getting to know, as knowing someone as a friend doesn't necessarily give you a real idea of what they're like to their oh.

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