By the way, I just realized that I might have come off as being insensitive or uncaring. If I did, I wanted to let you know that wasn't my intention. I want to help you find a solution, or at least a way you can communicate with your boyfriend and let him know what he's really doing to you. That way, if some part of him does care, he can have the opportunity to stop, and treat you as you should be treated, with courtesy and respect.
I'd still be doing all kinds of horrible things to my spouse, all unknowing, if she didn't have the guts to stand up for herself and tell me I was hurting her emotionally. Now that she's told me, I can work on stopping. Because I care enough to want to stop bad behavior if it negatively impacts her. I really, really hope, for both your sakes, that somewhere down deep he really does care. If he does care, maybe he can be made to listen.
If he can prove that he cares, he's going to have to change his behavior, and that can seem either really scary, or impossible, or both.View Thread
How about this? Ask him if he minds if you date other men while still living with him and sharing resources and child rearing. If he gets upset, explain that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and since he's seeing other women, and not treating you like a girlfriend, you would like to have the ability to find love and have your needs met. Alternatively, he could start treating you like a real girlfriend, someone he cares about, and be nice to you himself. But you aren't going to just sit there and be sad and lonely while you wait for him to grow up.
Or you could just ask him point blank "do you love me?" If he says yes, say "I need you to please act like it because I am very unhappy with the way things are."
The difficulty here is that this would probably force a confrontation and you'd have to be prepared to deal with the result - bad or good.View Thread
I'm sorry you are going through such a tough time. And I know it's really, REALLY hard to love someone more than they love you. I wonder if he even considers what he is doing cheating? It's pretty plain he's not emotionally committed, he probably thinks it's enough that he's giving you financial support and helping take care of the kids.
The problem is, he thinks it's okay to be abusive. And you are in a vulnerable position, what with your pregnancy. And he's being a big baby, he's a boy who never became a man. But he won't grow up unless he wants to. I hope you find a resolution, I hope you find a safe place to be. Possibly community resources could help, as Dennis says, and don't forget to file a restraining order because he's bound to be vindictive.
When I had a boyfriend, I was Pagan. He was Christian but it never really came up in our relationship. We just didn't talk about it at all, and I didn't advertize that I was Pagan. When I broke up with him because of relocating to another part of the country, that wasn't a factor - however, later I found out that his folks were hardcore fundamentalist Christians and he leaned that way too. So although I loved him, I knew in my heart we would never be able to reconcile enough to build a stable relationship.
When my spouse and I met, we were both Pagan. We've evolved gradually to Atheism. The only friction religion has caused between us is her concern that I go along with her too much, that I don't make my own decisions and form my own opinions.
I don't think I could ever have a romantic relationship with a relgious person. I can be friends with people who are religious but only if they respect my desire not to be involved in religion in any way. Philosophical discussions are great, attempts to convert me are not going to be put up with. For me, being in a romantic relationship is different than friendship in that I think the two people need to be fairly well aligned in their philosophies. If they aren't, agreeing to disagree and building the relationship on something else is a must.View Thread
It's okay, Dennis, I'm sure Dr. Leslie will find my response to her. There's no confusion on my end. I knew all along you were just being your normal, sweet, brotherly self. I see you as an honorable person. So *soft smack on the head* relax! Don't worry about either me or my dear spouse. Everybody needs friends, and I'm happy to have you as one of mine.View Thread
I mentioned a few months ago, that I was trying to figure out how to grow up. I thought I'd share a little of what I've found, and talk about some of the struggles I've had, in case it resonates with anyone else, provokes thought, or helps anyone.
I think a really big barrier to my feeling like a true adult is that I didn't see many examples of adults I wanted to be like. It helped a lot when I pinned down the exact role I wanted to take on, and realized that it was possible to become who I wanted to, not what someone else expected me to be.
Since I got to adult size, I've felt like a superannuated kid. I just couldn't wrap my head around being adult. And I think that's interfered with my relationships because I'm not taking full responsibility for my behavior and tend to hide behind excuses and rationalizations. This happens in person far more than in writing because I don't think as much when I speak as I do when I write.
All that background said, I wanted to pass on some methods that have heped me in growing up.
Reading books that have complex, rational themes have helped ingrain the right kinds of thought in my mind. Books that have complex issues, aren't just black and white, and have a good grounding in fact are good for this. I read way too much light fantasy as a kid, as well as sci fi/fantasy, and I think that harmed me because it didn't teach me clear thinking. Reading things like the Sherlock Holmes stories, Shakespeare, and really hard headed, internally consistent fantasy novels like Barbara Hambly's Darwoth Trilogy and the Joel Rosenberg Guardians of the Flame books have been good too. I've also been reading self improvement articles. Learning how to do things and be more useful is good for my self esteem and helps me feel like more of a "real person."
Another odd thing, writing in cursive has helped me shift my mindset. Printing all the time made me feel like more of a kid. So making my handwriting more beautiful makes me feel more adult.
Deciding my core values makes me feel as if I have a more solid ground to stand on, too. Just the act of writing them down helps cement them in my mind and makes me want to pay more attention to those virtues I hold dear.
What all this is doing, is making me see that I can choose the direction I want to go in, I don't have to be buffeted around by the world, I'm not completely helpless. One of the hardest lessons is giving up my tendency to try to influence people and just focus on managing myself.
Dennis, you can say you have my six. Just as long as you are just covering it for me. In the military sense, mind you! My spouse understands that and she'd just say "that's nice of him" or some such.
Dr. Leslie, you are right, I really do need to meditate more. Okay, I need to meditate, period. The closest thing I do is drive while listening to music, that puts me in an aware but meditative state. But I don't feel like I have time to just sit and breathe for fifteen minutes. Maybe start with five and work my way up? It's worth another look.View Thread
Dr. Leslie, thanks for saying that. I have read some of the same research. Apparently, and I can't recall the exact study, writing in cursive actually activates different parts of the brain than typing, but also printing by hand as well. I notice that writing in cursive helps me feel more meditative and calm than printing does, but typing is better for just getting the thoughts out quickly. I also tend to want to write more elegantly and use more poetic language. I think it's something in the way I keep my pen down on the paper so my writing, and my thoughts, are less choppy.
Dennis, thank you as well. You? Admire me? My friend, you are the very epitome of tenacity! I've seen you hang on and remain upbeat through circumstances that would make anybody quail and shudder. You are brave and you have a big heart. I acknowledge what you are saying about me, and I'll try to accept it, but hold up a mirror, bro!
I get what you are saying about not giving up my curiosity or childlike sense of wonder. I find as I move toward more adulttlike behaviors, I actually get some of that back that I lost. Some of the childish behaviors that I'm eliminating are selfishness, being offended at being given advice, and self centered egotism. When I bring those behaviors under control, I am freed to be more loving, curious, and open to learning. Put simply, when I quit acting like a spoiled brat, life become richer and more fulfilling.View Thread