Anne has given me some more information on her situation and it shed light on the real issue she is confronting. I have not posted it out of respect for her privacy and the privacy of her boyfriend. However, in some parts of the article I quote it.
Anne has exposed the root of the problem with her boyfriend. It is not porn or that he is looking at porn. He is looking at personal ads on craigslist. That is much different than porn. He is also looking at local personal ads or the local ads for places he will travel to in the near future. The nature of the images and the nature of his sexuality pales in comparison to the feeling of duplicity and disregard that comes from knowing your partner is actively searching for sexual encounters.
The main problem is stated in the fourth paragraph. “He says that he probably will not stop, even if it means hurting (Anne), because he feels that it’s not a big thing to him and (Anne) asking him to stop would be too controlling.”
So Anne, I can honestly say that I have a different perspective on the situation now. You are both thirty-one. You are no longer kids or even in your youth any longer. You are both adults and as adults, you need more from your significant other than just some fun and good times. You need a partner. You need a person that can, and will, provide you with a sense of security and fulfillment in a holistic sense. When he says, “that he probably will not stop, even if it means hurting” you, it causes you an immense amount of emotional pain. That translates as “you are not as important to me as having a random and meaningless orgasm.” Nobody wants to feel that way. It is extremely hurtful. Our mind races and wonders just how low we are on his list of important things. You get angry and hurt. Before you know it you are on the attack, demanding to know why and how they could do this to you. Unfortunately, the part about being low on the list and made to feel insignificant was done in our head and the part where you call him an asshole comes out of your mouth. Am I close?
I could be wrong. When you feel this way the two of you could have long, calm conversations on the subject of your relationship and come to a place of growth and understanding. I hope that I am wrong. Once we hit the big three-oh we don’t want to have to argue and feel insecure. I don’t think I am far off here, though. I am guessing that there is very little communication about the direction and meaning of your relationship. When was the last time you both expressed what you wanted out of this relationship? I am not talking about marriage but in terms of what needs and desires you are willing to fulfill for each other. Not jut sexually either, but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually for one another. (Just a quick note on the spiritually part—even an atheist needs a person who will not constantly harass them for being and atheist.) Sex is a great thing and a wonderful part of a relationship, but it is not a whole relationship. Without having a whole relationship, the parts begin to fall away from each other.
He also says, “He feels that it’s not a big thing to him.” That is fine, but it is a big thing to you and when you care about a person, you also care about the things they feel are big, even if you don’t feel they are a big thing. Our brains work in a very funny way. When we hear that his activities are not a big thing to him our brain turns it into, I am not a big thing to him. That makes us hurt and angry and once we get to that point, there isn’t much communication going on. When it is stretched out into a thought process, it looks much different. We know that it is not a big thing. It is a small thing. You are not mad about it. You are mad that you are being disregarded. You don’t want to be brushed off and pushed aside. You want to be heard and have your feelings respected. Is this the only place in your relationship you feel like this? I am guess the answer is no. Am I right? I think we might be focusing on the problem now. It is not his sexual activities, as much as you are feeling worthless and disrespected in your relationship. Don’t forget that as much as he is being a verbal ninja to pass off the responsibility, you are following the distraction.
We all want to be the partner that is cool with everything and anything in the bedroom, but that only goes so far. Everyone has boundaries; even the most libertine of people can find a point where they will not cross. Oddly, people with the rarest and most outlying sexual desires don’t tread into the realm of ordinary. It is wonderful to stay open and non-judgmental, but not to our own demise. He has crossed that boundary for you and staying there is not healthy for your relationship.
It could be time to really examine your relationship and discuss what the expectations are. If you both are not agreeing on what you want and expect from each other in all aspects of your relationship it might be time to start talking about going separate ways. You both deserve to be happy in every part of your relationship. You are not overreacting. You have wants and needs in your relationship and as an adult you have a right to be with someone that provides your wants and needs.
Start looking at your past relationships. Have you found yourself in this sort of position before? Are you often feeling unheard and uncared for in your relationships? If you were to define the perfect girlfriend, what would that be? Seriously, make a list right now. What is the perfect girlfriend to you? Who is the perfect girlfriend? Are you following some archetype in your head that leads you toward a place that makes you unhappy?
Take this as an opportunity. This is your chance to grow as a person and as a woman. You can find out more about yourself and end up in a better place; that place might or might not include your boyfriend, but in the end you have to be brave enough to get there. It will not be easy or even comfortable to tackle these things, but you owe it to yourself to do it. Just to let you know, you are going to think of the worst thing a man has ever done to you. It doesn’t matter who it was or what it was, but you are going to be thinking of it often as you examine these things. Most of us are scared of change, but do not think of it as change; you are growing and growth is always good.
So what do I think? Well, I can say that I think that you feel disrespected and unvalued in your relationship. That’s just what I think, though, and I could be very wrong. I do know that you are not overreacting to anything; you are just reacting to the symptom, not the cause. If you cannot afford counseling (there are many low cost and free counselors out there) try to really research good information on relationships and psychology. Use the internet as a resource, but steer clear of blogs and articles in casual magazines. Go to the APA (American Psychological Association) Web site or read up in the reputable journals. You will be able to find great information out there. Remember that my words are not the last words on the subject and that the best decisions made are made with the most information possible. I honestly hope that you and your boyfriend can come together and move forward in a healthy and happy way in your relationship and all aspects of your life.