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I decided to browse on there and noticed that a lot of the posts are locked or removed. Some of the comments have up to 5000 upvotes and have rewards so it could not be controversial (I don’t think). But just looking at all the posts it’s just deleted or removed.
Some of the posters ask good questions yet it seems like the good answers are removed and locked. What is the reason for this?
I found this thread (https://www.reddit.com/AskWomen/comments/7p9jg9/domestic_abuse_situations_are_often_characterized/
) through an online search on the problems platonic relationships pose for romantic ones, and while there's much to agree with here viz. abusive men, I've found no parallel here (nor anywhere else) for the abusive relationship that I find myself in (to my thinking at least). As this is an 'AskWomen' section of Reddit I would like to do just that -- because I am a man.
I met my partner ~ 11 yrs ago when I came to France for work -- she was, it seems, still involved with her ex (the father of her children) when we met, but I didn't know at first as they didn't live together. She also has this odious little character she keeps around who is a very old friend and effectively a second father to her kids. She has these other men in her life but I find that she makes the time for that other life by taking that time from ours. She says that I'm being jealous and controlling in not being happy with this and I contend that this is an abusive of our relationship, so let me outline some details as I would very much like a female perspective here. The trouble started as soon as this character got wind of her new relationship with me -- swearing at her young kids, refusing to leave his room whenever I was in the house, engaging in grand-gestures (taxi back to the airport, flying back to the UK, only to be beseeched back two-days later by floods-of-tears phone calls from my girlfriend's children. This emotional blackmail had its desired effect -- they stopped speaking to me and started hating me (blanking me whenever he was here, stealing from me, telling me they "wish I was dead", etc.), and my gf (understandably, I suppose) unconsciously sided with her children and it formed a wedge between us. When I stated my unhappiness about this situation and her effective sanctioning of his behaviour -- she said that she told him that he couldn't come here any more if this persisted, and he had agreed to stop -- that he loved her and her kids and only reacted the way he did because of what he thought he would lose. She then told me and that the responsibility to "build bridges" was mine. The damage already done (her kids still don't talk to a decade later), I hardly need describe what I thought about this suggestion, my only crime to start a relationship with someone new.
If that was all there was to it I could easily have looked past it (I'm never been the jealous type), but his presence became increasingly wearing being here for the best part of six-months of every year (he's a retired pensioner): every breakfast, every lunch, every dinner, every day (pre-Brexit, at least -- and thank heavens for Brexit in this one respect!) and my gf was effectively only available to me in his company. She spent her summers going on holidays with him/her kids, telling me that I had her for the rest of the year (the cold, dark, part where she's miserable, seasonal-affective disorder personified). She also seemed intent on revalidating him by diminishing me in his presence or putting on a show for his benefit (shouting at me, being critical of me, being short with me in conversation, or just ignoring me altogether) and I started to withdraw from this. She told me I was being jealous, and that he was an important part of her life that I would have to accept.
Neither is he the only problem, and I describe the following as what I perceive to be a symptom of my gf's behaviour -- that she is too fond of the attention of other men. You see, there's her ex- too (the father of her children) who also remains "an important part of her life". Does anyone other than me regard it as unacceptable that her ex- comes down for lunch every weekend? How about three days a week (to see his kids)? How about every single 5ucking week for the past 11 years?! She always sits facing him and I'm left to one side. They only talk to each other and if I don't speak to her the entire meal for me will pass in silence . When I initially questioned this continual attendance she said he only came to see his kids and so I put up with it until they left home -- which they did years ago and still he comes, every week (she justifies this by highlighting his handyman abilities), but she never Ever allows him to see me close to her (or us kiss) in company or when he is here -- another 'partner' validated at the expense of her actual partner. She takes him out to dinner alone on his birthday, whenever his family have any sort of event I'm always excluded (although the platonic character is always taken), and I can't remember the number of times that I've walked into our kitchen to find she and her ex- swiftly moving apart from a tete-a-tete (that she would never have with me if he were in the house). When I question any of this I get the same spiel, the asserted jealousy, or that I'm being aggressive and unreasonable. We haven't seen the ex- for two weeks as my gf has just spent the past two weeks in the company of her platonic other-half, when I hardly saw her at all despite us living in the same house. She took more leave to weed the garden with him in that time than she's taken off on my account in the last six-years, and the day after he goes she makes herself unavailable again. When I went to find her to ask if she didn't think that it would be politic to spend half-an-hour of that evening with me given how little I've seen of her for the past fortnight I just get excuses and we have a blazing row.
I have never, in 40+ years of dating, encountered a situation like this, a gf whose onlt interest seems to be bending over backwards for other men (and whom I am apparently supposed to take on trust is not bending over forwards for them as well); am I being unreasonable and controlling in finding such behaviour unacceptable and an abuse of her relationship with me? We've stopped having sex weekend-mornings (and now almost altogether) as it gets in the way of the cooking necessary to entertain her ex, and in this sexual context she even told me the previous time that her platonic partner was here that we couldn't have some pre-arranged daytime bedroom-fun because "what would he think if we just went up to our bedroom during the day"! My reaction to this statement was as verbally explosive as one might imagine.
And that's just her platonic partner and her ex-partner. Now let me describe the situation with her boss. My gf has an outfit that she looks very fetching in and I have expressed no small amount of admiration for her in it (indeed, the booties were purchased on my recommendation), and we regularly used to engage in a particular sexual act with her wearing it. I soon noticed, however, that whenever she wore that outfit to work she would always come home with a description of how her lecherous boss had come back to the office that day and blah, blah, blah... I held my tongue to be certain about what I thought I was seeing but after 10 or 20 repeats of this I was forced into the obvious connection -- that she was trying to appeal to him physically. Nothing so wrong there I suppose, this is still a baldy-patriarchal world and a gal has to get along if she wants to get ahead professionally, but I was less minded to be sanguine here given her behaviour viz. other men. The last (two) straw(s) came recently when she was going away on a business trip with said fat-boss -- smiling as Messenger messages from him pinged on her mobile while we were still in the bed in the morning, sitting grinning at her phone on the train while I stood there like a lemon on the platform waiting for her train to depart, and a long email to me at midnight describing the wonderful meal he took her for and the film at the cinema they went to, completely forgetting to ask me about the results of my cancer-remission test that day. When my birthday came around a couple of weeks later and she asked me what she should wear and suggested the outfit that I liked she was crass enough to tell me that this outfit was her boss' favourite too, apparently unaware that I was perfectly aware of what he liked her to wear and what she liked to wear for his benefit, and again I reacted negatively to this statement. Imagine my surprise when she told me that he sexually assaulted her years ago -- it was all that I could do not to say that I was not surprised that a lecherous boss would do so as she seemed to be leading him on and giving him all the signals he would expect of someone receptive to an approach. What sort of woman goes out to dinner alone with a man who sexually assaulted them previously (this was apparently reported)? What sort of woman sits in a dark cinema alone with such a man? What sort of woman continues to dress to appeal to that man post-assault (and then tells her partner what that man likes her to wear?!)?
I find all of this behaviour sickening frankly, and when I raise any of it with her I'm told that I'm being jealous, controlling, and she even gaslights me now by saying that I imagine all of it. I always know when some bloke is coming around our house as she always dolls herself up for every tradesman's visit (apparently you only get the best price with a man if you "make yourself look attractive first"), but is happy to look like she slept in a hedge when it's just me and her. I don't mind the latter and never need her made-up or dressed-up -- I find her attractive as-is, I just ask why she is only ever interested in making that effort for other men (cue tight-jeans and two different lipstick shades in as many hours). There's hundreds of other things too: she never fails to put me aside to answer the phone or the door -- even during sex -- in case it's an emergency (her mother "might have fallen down the stairs"), she regularly takes a call from family at lunchtime and talks the entire way through our meal (doing it once at a restaurant on my birthday -- although she did complain to me about her mother interrupting when she was at the restaurant with her ex- for his birthday), whenever in company she is voluble in her answers to statements from others but if I speak to her she'll either ignore me, offer a grunt, or a one-word Y/N answer (but if I speak to anyone else she'll quickly interject to negate or disagree with what I've said), she absolutely never lets me finish a sentence and immediately cuts me off, when we sit alone at a table (home, bar, restaurant) she looks to one-side or over my shoulder and if I ask her to attend she tells me she's "looking at her roses" or goes into her "...I can't just sit here looking into your eyes for hours-on-end" tirade. Last year when she was studiously staring over the top of my head in the restaurant I asked her if there was something wrong with my hair (she is invariably critical of my appearance) and she told me that she was looking at the waiter -- I asked if she could perhaps focus on the person taking her to lunch rather than the person serving it and she told me not to "be so rude". It feels like she's making clear to all concerned (and even those whose business our relationship is not) how little consequence I am relative to them, emulating the blanking behaviour that that little POS enforced on her kids. When I wanted to do something about him early on she would have none of it and he is now happy as Larry as he is validated in his position of being appended to our relationship -- the personal side of which she has effectively given away.
She'll make endless excuses for not engaging verbally, tactilely, or physically in bed, swearing at me if I speak to her before she's ready to rouse, excusing herself once she is awake by saying that she can't stay if I try to cuddle her, putting her hand over her genitals if I put my hands on her body. Yet when I cease bothering and just go downstairs when I wake she lies there for hours saying she was waiting for me to come back. I have to ask her for sex ("it's too cold", "it's too bright", "I'm too tired", "I'm not a morning person", "I've got gardening to do"), I have to ask her for her company of an evening ("I can spare you ten minutes", "I haven't got long", "can't you wait?", "I've got to get this email finished", "I've got to go to my son's restaurant", etc.), taking time from our time together to get all of her chores done so that she can then spend hours, days, and weeks in the company of her other gentleman-friends to give them her full attention, unencumbered. Then, when they've gone, she's unavailable to me again because she has to catch up with all the things she couldn't do while entertaining them or attending to her family's many needs. If I question any of this it's because I don't understand and am not close with my family (I did my time with them already), or because I don't have children, or don't have friends of the closeness that she does (not true -- I just don't impose those friendships on my relationships and recognise all of the dividing lines therein). If I try and spend time with her she's refractory and regards it as a chore and is largely mute, yet when I walk away she gets all offended, moist-eyed, and passive. I worked out out that I spend ~ 98% of every week in our relationship on my own. There's a chicken-and-egg element to this sorry tale, as she says that she would be more invested in our relationship if there was more affection and if I loved her like her platonic partner does and I tell her that she is confusing effect with cause and that I never fell in love with her because of having to compete with a panoply of other blokes for access to my own girlfriend.
Am I jealous, needy, cntstruck, lovelorn, or needlessly dramatic? I don't think so -- I have long regarded infidelity in the physical sense as an odd, modern construct: if my gf saw a breathtakingly attractive man who propositioned her for a quickie that she took him up on it would not be the end of the world. We should no more want to experience just one person's body in life than one person's cooking (= never going to any restaurants), but personal fidelity is another matter. Even if I saw the most amazingly attractive female who I knew wanted me whilst I was in the company of my partner (this actually happened to me on two separate occasions long ago with a gf's sister and a gf's 'best-friend'), I would never, ever marginalise that partner or make her question her standing in that situation. Yet my gf does this to me in company all the time. It's cheap, nasty, and ultimately why I know that she and I have no future together. Her fondness for the attention of other men is what brought us together so I shouldn't be surprised that is what took us apart.
If you've read this far then you must think that I'm a colossal, desperate 5ucking idiot who can't see the obvious in all of this. But I'm not, and I'm perfectly aware of what it all means -- this is a dead relationship with someone I should perhaps never have started one with (but one that I choose to stay within because of other entities that we both share and that neither is willing to be parted from). Neither am I simply venting as I am resigned to the hopelessness of the situation (I know all about facing reality from my experience with cancer, which disease my gf also kindly once advised me was not her doing). No, what I want is to try to understand what this behaviour means and to have an external female view of whether I am to blame for any of it. If I get enough useful responses I may even show this thread to her, not because I can't articulate any of this myself (which I have, ad nauseum), but because I'd like her to see what other women / someone other than me thinks of her behaviour. I don't believe that I'm at fault but am perfectly ready to hear any reasonable argument that I am because it might give me closure and show that perhaps I had a hand in creating my own misery. It might even make me feel a little better about who I am. When I met this woman (she was 51, I 48) I was on the rebound from a long-term relationship with a much-younger partner, and I thought that I had found heaven on Earth. The years that followed showed that I had actually found the opposite. I have never been so unhappy.
Please help me to understand.
I (mid 30s male) was often called "asexual" during high school and my 20s. I also posted this on asexual
, and demisexuality
, but wanted some other input.
Back then, it was more pejorative than descriptive, at least growing up. The label, also meant "complete absence of sexual desire", as there was no real "spectrum" back then.
I also have, at least compared to my perception of others, low-ish libido.
However, I always thought I could not
be asexual (based on the definition of "complete absence of") due to two major factors:
- I (male) am only attracted to women. Basically any romantic feelings or infatuation growing up was towards a female person so how could I be asexual? I equated this with heterosexuality apparently some feel that this is not necessarily the case.
- I am married and have sex with my wife periodically, and it is a pleasurable experience physically and emotionally. We were both virgins when we got married so that may also affect my perception of sexual interactions between people.
However, I am never "lost in passion" and am very aware of what's going on around me and am somewhat "technical", "mechanical" or "scripted" (I am thinking about angles and how to make it good for my wife). Even "making out" or foreplay feels very step-by-step for me (do this first, do this next, etc).
Obviously the physical sensations are good, but I feel like my brain is, again, being very "procedural". My wife has sometimes mentioned that "there isn't a checklist or fixed routine that you have to go through each time".
To elaborate, I never feel like my body is doing things impulsively (except maybe orgasm?). I am very aware of what of going on, and my brain goes through this sort of step by step process (according to cosmo or askwomen
, she may like this. ok so she likes this, so do this. she likes this next, so the next step is this. she says do this tempo, so do this). I never feel like I am letting my drive take over. It sometimes feels like a game of chess...
I know movies are not a good example, but many movies show people so entrenched in passion that they are tripping on things while making out, etc. Never happened with me.
On the contrary, things that seem to fit here:
- I can go weeks without sex. Only after about two or three weeks will my body feel like I "need" something. However, this just seems physical as I never felt the need to watch pornography or have visual stimuli. Again, my male (and female) peers found this odd.
- When masturbation was mentioned in health class in high school, my thought was, "That's weird. Why would anyone ever need to do that?". For a long time I also thought sex was only for procreation (how else are humans going to procreate naturally?). My peers found this odd as well.
- I never had "raging hardons" that people sometimes mention. I never had the urge to masturbate because I saw a beautiful woman. I seemed to be an exception here, too.
- Overall, my brain finds women attractive, but doesn't trigger much else physically, unless it's in the moment itself, and only with my wife.
- Never had erotic or sexual dreams or sexual daydreams. I can visualize things, sure, but I have to think about it, versus it "just coming to mind" , intrusively.
- Never understood my friends saying they "need" sex. I understand libido, but never understood needing sex.
- I don't think I could have a sexual interaction with anyone except my wife (basically, comitted relationship).
- Even when I had "crushes" I never thought about sex (except maybe "well, we will want to have kids", etc) and pretty much thought about having a relationship with care, emotion, hugging, travelling places together, going to a national park, having fun, etc.
- When we got married, we didn't have sex for a few months. Neither of us felt any pressure to do so and eventually did when we felt the time was right for us.
- Some movies show a woman using her hands to "fan" herself when she see someone who she finds "hot". I don't think I have ever felt that way since puberty.
- People mention things happening "in the heat of the moment". I don't think I have ever felt something like this.
A few interactions that may help illustrate this more:
- When I was in college, a cheerleader friend sat next to me, extending her legs out. She then asked me how her (shaved/waxed) legs looked (look, I just got them waxed/shaved, what do you think?) running her hands across them. I said they looked nice and then got up and left. My point is that I didn't feel any arousal and actually forgot about this until I started writing this post.
- Another college friend expressed her feelings for me once. Among other things, she mentioned fantasizing about us being together sexually. For various unrelated reasons, I said I was not ready for a relationship, but I wondered about this part since I had never had sexual fantasies with anyone whom I was interested or infatuated with. Apparently, people do?
If I looked at a lingerie catalog, I would feel like "wow she is gorgeous". I would also feel this type of "gorgeous" is different than if I saw a handsome male model or even a beautiful woman in a business suit (with the latter being closer to the lingerie example but still quite different nonetheless). However in all cases, I would NOT feel "the blood moving", feel the need to masturbate, or feel the need to have sex with my wife.
At the same time, if I am with my wife and there is not much time pressure, we can have sex. As I mentioned earlier, while the physical sensations are good, it does feel somewhat procedural to me.
Anyways if you made it this far, what are your thoughts? Feel free to tell it how it is (trying not to have the reddit echo chamber stereotype lol)