Can somemone help put this right in my mind, please?(23 Posts)
This is taking a large dose of Ben and Jerry's, and shitload of music and possibly alcohol to get out, as everythin's messed up in my head. I've spent three days trying to get this straight in my head, and it's not working. Sorry, rambly start, I know. But. If I start getting less coherent, you know why.
When I got with DS's father, he grew enormously jealous of the fact I was still friends with an ex, and pushed me into ending the friendship. As some of you know, DS's father was abusive towards me, and very controlling, so ending my friendship with the man in question seemed the logical and sensible option.
Fastforward three years, and following the birth of DS, the ex in question sent me a friend request on the old dreaded Facebook, and sent a message of congratulations on DS. Like the complete idiot I am, I accepted, and began talking to him again, as a friend. When I left DS's father the first time, he was there as a confidante, and the only person I felt I could truly open up to about everything that had gone on. Even in the refuge, I held back after seeing a woman turning up the same day as I did in a much worse state. I ended up returning to DS's father, following my mother and father convincing me that I'd over-reacted to the assault for which I'd fled, and my DB telling me, mid row, that he wasn't suprised DS's father hit me, as I was a "fucking annoying cow". The ex (As I'll call himfrom now on) was the only person, DS's father's step-mother aside, who said I was doing the wrong thing. He kept in touch, all the same, with his number saved under a girl's name on my phone, to save the ex getting suspicious as he rooted through my phone. And when the ex began turning nasty again, he reminded me that I didn't deserve this abuse, nor did DS. Eventually, I left DS's father again, and again, found the majority of support coming from "The ex" as, following the previous events, I found it difficult to open up to my parents and brother, and DS's father had shattered my relationship with my sister. 2 refuges later, and I found myself back in my home town, with only two friends remaining after DS's father had demolished most of my friendships through jealousy.
As I settled back in my home town, I found the ex would be constantly reminding me of "the old days" and soon ended up having an ill advised one-night stand with him. Less than a week later, after him ignoring me for the best part of five days, he told me he was now in a relationship. I moved on, but after both of our new partners had moved to uni, he reverted to messaging me, trying to lure me back into bed. By the time I split from my new partner, he'd moved onto his new
victim girlfriend, but kept in touch as a friend for a few weeks as a friend, until messaging telling me he felt lonely as his new girlfriend lived so far away, and could he come round for old times sake. He accepted my "no" as an answer, but soon reverted to telling me about his feelings for me. I ended up falling into another casual relationship, which lasted about four months. A month into the casual relationship, the ex started messaging me again, telling me that he still wanted me, and couldn't help how he felt about me. Every so often, I'd think he'd got the message and he'd stop messaging me for a week or so, then we'd be back to square one. He'd use the old "not getting sex" line, regularly, claiming his GF didn't "want" him. I tried to advise him to focus his attentions on his GF, then and try to fix things with her, but he'd not listen.
We've now both been single for about four months. Through everything, since leaving DS's father, he's always been willing to listen to my problems, and vice versa. At times, I considered him one of my closest friends. However, he's never given up on the idea of trying to get me back into bed, which lead to an almighty row on Monday night, during which he started playing the "but I don't feel attractive any more" card, and the "I just need someone to make me feel good about myself" card. I told him, given all the times he'd trampled over my feelings and my relationships, plus how he'd acted through his last relationship, I didn't want anything to do with him in that sense. He told me that he was unwilling to put up with anymore of my shit (of which, he meant me telling him that I didn't want him anymore) and wasn't willing to act as my shrink anymore (erm, yeah). I've seen a 7 year (albeit disfunctional) friendship go down the drain, and I can't make sense of who's in the right or wrong. Can someone help put this right in my head, from a feminist perspective, please? Because, at the moment, I'm blaming myself, and telling myself I've been completely unreasonable one minute, then thinking I've had a lucky escape the next.
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I'm wondering if he is viewing the time he spent listening to you as a 'shrink' was like an investment in a shag bank or something.
Spoons, that's what I've been telling myself, when I haven't been emotionally telling myself I'm a complete arsewipe, and I've thrown away a friendship because I can't just tell him "no", I had to explain why. But then he wouldn't take just "no" for an answer. But then, why should I have had to explain myself?
You've just used each other when no-one else has been available as far as I can make out.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Carpwidow, please clarify as to how I've "used" him?
....to remind you of the old days, as you said.
Spoons, I know. I just feel incredibly shit about it. I can't work out if what he's said is justified, when I've tried to be there for him without giving in to sex. But my default setting is to blame myself for everything, something I'm trying to get over. And right now, I'm blaming myself for all this, but still confused as to why.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just as an idea, how about a period of total celibacy to clear your head. you could insist on a friendship version of trial separation as tangled webs often have a clearer pattern from a distance, and meantime don't get romantically or sexually entangled with any other men who might cloud your judgement. Give yourself some space and time. Write your questions and cofusions down and lock them in a box ready to take back out in one month or two, whatever feels right, but stick to it. When you review you might know for certain and wonder why you were confused at the time. My own feeling is that you are feeling sexually pressurised by this man, which is making you psychologically claustraphobic and what you need is some 'air'. You aren't a bad person, you've no wish to hurt him, you just can't supply what he's after from you.
Like I said, carpwidow, he started reminding me of "the old days". In a way, he initiated that.
Spoons, thank you. I know it's not justified. I just struggle to put that niggling voice in the back of my mind right; the same voice which stops me standing up for myself most of the time.
BCS, ironically, I've been celibate for a year; I haven't seen this man for 18 months, mainly to try and save my sanity and to save me from feeling pressured into anything. yet, throughout those 18 months, he's been persistent and consistent. The psychologically claustraphobic thing sounds about right. I'll try your suggestion, thanks. I know, eventually I stop blaming myself for everything. Yet at other times, something will sneak back in, and years down the line, I'll start blaming myself all over again, for no reason. I'm due to start CBT soon, and am hoping I'll find some way to put that thought process right iin time.
CBT is a very good way of identifying, taking ownership of , and changing negative (but often unconscious) thought processes.
It will definitely help you view your predicament with more circumspection.
It's hard work, but worth it.(I've had it)
Like Caitlin Moran said
"do you have a vagina?"
"do you want to be in charge of it"
"if the answere to the above two is yes, then you're a feminist"
So by starting CBT you've allready proven your a feminist---
You don't need to justify your choice to end any relationship with another adult. You just don't. Even to yourself, the only justification you need is "It doesn't feel good enough any more."
I was taught (therapy) to evaluate my feelings thus:
Is it relevant? It is appropriate? Is it helpful?
If it doesn't score three out of three, you don't act on it. Just let it wash over you, then do something else.
Your residual feelings of obligation, affection, etc towards this guy are not scoring three.
CBT should be good! Make the most of it!
I've just deleted his number, and every message from him on my phone. Was weird deleting the messages I sent him, as I found I was consistently apologetic for not bowing to his needs. The last message I sent him, after he effectively called me crazy went along the lines of apology, guilt, wishing him the best, guilt and a further apology. I didn't read his messages back, to save myself sanity.
The CBT scares me to an extent. I'm shit about opening up face to face. It doesn't happen, or if I do open up about something, I pretend I'm fine. DSil, her brother and my best friend are the only people who get the truth out of me, ever. I have no idea what to expect, and theres a bit of a waiting list, but it'll help.
CBT isn't so much about talking about your problems in depth - it's far more about finding out what you need to do to improve your life situation and how to achieve it. For people with deep-seated psychological issues, it can be a bit of "papering over the cracks" and may not achieve much - but it might too.
Your ex - first things first, he's an ex for a reason. He may well have had the potential to be another EA, don't know, purely speculating - but he was certainly happy enough to "prey" on your vulnerability by lending an ear, hoping that he would get sex out of it - and now you're not keeping up your end of the bargain (in his head) he's off.
That sort of friend is not a friend - that is a user. You're best off leaving him behind as well.
Your family sound delightful, btw - over-reacting to physical abuse? telling you that you deserved it? lovely.
Sounds like you have done the right thing to get this ex out of your life as much as your DS's father - now is the start of your new life, with no users/controllers/takers giving you grief and making you doubt your abilities.
CBT may help you to take back control of your own life - but as I said, it's unlikely to fix underlying psych issues - you need a different type of counselling for that. Good luck with it all - hope your new life is fab!
I think that you are doing the right thing DCMFD. This ex of yours doesn't sound like someone who has been friends with you for any other reason than what he could get out of you.
If a friendship ever makes you feel used, unhappy and stressed it is not a friendship at all. There is no need for guilt when walking away.
Good luck, you've probably done the right thing. All the best to you!
This Ex sounds like a 'Nice Guy TM' to me. Definitely agree about the shag bank.
"But I listened to your problems! You now owe me access to your vagina when my girlfriend is out of town or I'm single!"
Ugh. My friends listen to my problems, pick me up from the station, even sometimes take me to the supermarket and do you know what, they NEVER pressure me for sex to 'repay' them. Amazing, eh?
Nasty piece of work, if you ask me. You haven't done anything wrong. "No" is a complete sentence, especially when it comes to sex.
thumbwitch, to say they've been less than supportive would be an understatement... Which is a shame, as I do feel it's damaged my relationships with all of them.
Thank you for clearing up about the CBT; I had no idea what to expect, and DSil and my best friend are the only two people who know I'm having it - every time anything comes up re my depression and treatment related to that, DMother dismisses it.
I'm feeling slightly more positive today, and am blaming myself less for this. But there's part of me that suspects a few days from now I'll have to re-read this thread to remind methat I shouldn't be blaming myself.
here is the patient version of what CBT is - it may help you more than my quick précis.
You definitely need to remember that it is his problem. His crappy attitude and expectations. TBH, you got lucky in that you're not his girlfriend now - imagine, him trying to hook up for a shag with single women he knows whenever you were out of town! What a fucker (literally!)
I am not a big one for mantras but I do believe that you should say to yourself "I am a good person and I deserve to be treated well" at least once a day. As for the guilt - forget it. It's not yours. The only people who should be feeling any guilt are the scum who have mistreated you.
Have a quick (((hug))) while no one's looking
I like that mantra and I think you should use it, if for no other reason than you're already using mantras, just crappy ones like "this is all my fault" and "I am to blame" and shite like that which I'm sure you've internalised somehow, but simply isn't true.
I hope CBT helps- I've found it feckin awesome in the past.
This Ex is not a very nice man. He probably has several women in his life in similar circumstances - isolated and vulnerable. Helping them makes him feel big and strong and wonderful and he also sees it as a way to get more sex as he can play on their guilt and gratitude to get them to open their legs.
Best to accept the good bits of him (he did help you out and support you) but move on from him now that the bad bits (whining for sex and getting stroppy now you are no longer desperate, lonely, submissive and eternally grateful) outweigh the good. You don't owe him anything. It's OK to cut him out of your life and move on.
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