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Why You Stayed, Part II: Relationship Boogaloo

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Juice, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Juice

    Juice
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    Since we did this thread, lets do the opposite.

    I fucked up the first real relationship I was in. She was pretty and way out of my league. Although a bit sparse in the brain department, she was a good person. Because I was young and immature and not exactly confident with myself, that caused things to circle the drain within a few months. My attitude pushed her away and into the arms of another which, in the end, was a self-fulfilling prophecy for myself. I dont exactly regret my actions because I may not have been where I am with future wife had that turned out differently and it was a good learning experience, but I had to reexamine myself before diving back into something with someone else.

    Focus: Ever been the cause of an unhealthy relationship?

    Alt. Focus: How have your past relationships shaped who you are today, for better or worse?
     
  2. shimmered

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    Oh man. Here's a story about how I learned what "class" is. Or...whatever the hell you want to call it.

    I knew a guy. I was 'the other girl' and I knew it and I didn't...think or care or...anything, I guess. I was young and stupid and doing a lot of stupid things at that time. I knew she existed but the way he described her and talked about her, they were in a long distance relationship and he didn't seem to really like her all that much. He didn't say good things about her or anything like that. I rationalized it. I wasn't a good person.

    Anyway. He and I carried on and we became a thing. Love thing. Lust thing. A young stupid can't live without you thing.
    They were engaged.

    Two weeks before the wedding, he told her everything, about me, us, him, his feelings for me, my feelings for him. Bared his soul.

    She demanded that she and I meet.

    I'm a fucking dumbass and agreed. I was anxious. I really, in hindsight, don't know what I was thinking. No fucking clue. But, even then, I was a woman of my word and I'd agreed, so meet her I did.

    This woman, who'd had her world upended just a few short days beforehand, whose fiancé was dirt bagging her with me in the most awful of ways, walked up to me and said "Hi, I'm XXXXXXXXXX. It's so nice to meet you. I've heard nothing but good things about you."

    We spent the rest of the day into the evening talking, girl talking, shopping, and ultimately became really really good friends. We're still friends nearly fifteen years later. They wound up marrying and later divorcing, and I still think she's one of the classiest, most wonderful people I've ever met, and that I'm quite lucky to call her friend.
     
  3. CanisDirus

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    My most recent relationship is proof positive that I can be really stupid. Case in point, a woman who was a friend of a friend began to chat with me on Facebook, and quickly wormed her way into her own mind of herself being my girlfriend. Also, as her profile did not list an age, and the photos she put up often only focused on one part of her body at a time, she had an aura of mystery about her. Being new to an online relationship besides just a cordial friendship, I quickly got in over my head. This woman had lied about many things in her life, and it was all going to blow up when she came to visit me.

    The kickers? The week before she visits, she drops these bombs on me:
    -She's 39
    -Those pictures of her were from when she was younger (Like 23)
    -She just got divorced from her husband of like a decade
    -She has two kids
    -She has Borderline Personality Disorder, used to cut herself, and had daddy issues she went to great length, once she knew I was going to meet her, to extrapolate upon

    When I arrive at the airport to pick her up, I still had a naive notion she might have been hot. Nope. To boil down a weekend of me basically wanting to just scrub myself like a rape victim at every opportunity and feeling like a shitty human being, I took her to an amusement park, went to restaurants with her and when really drunk and thinking of something better, I am ashamed to admit I had sex with her. When she had to leave, I apparently fucked up the timing at getting her to the airport and she began going manic. I quickly stood up, went to my car and drove off. I un-friended her on Facebook, added her e-mail to my spam folder and basically for the next week cursed myself for being so stupid, naive and able to be "Catfished".

    She tried to weedle back into my life, but I rebuffed her. Then my friend came to her defense, but when I explained what had taken place, and how I was trapped into this whole ordeal, he and others turned on her, oddly, and basically ran her off of many different websites. Apparently, before me, she had made herself out to be a sick young girl dying of uterine cancer with a fake Facebook account and got some guy, the most fervent of her haters nowadays, to sing to her over the phone various Disney songs, before her lies trapped her with that.

    It really scares me to think what might have happened. What a creepy deal all-around that relationship was.
     
  4. xrayvision

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    As if it couldn't have been any worse?
     
  5. CanisDirus

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    Well I had sex with her. So besides her knifing me or removing my testicles with pliers, I got out unscathed, except in my soul.
     
  6. Angel_1756

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    Get an STI screen. You never know what lurks beneath that tarted up exterior. Bleah.

    Alt focus: The old guy gave me an incredible appreciation for good and varied sex which has served me well in my other relationships. At the same time, his breakup was awful and made me put up huge walls around myself for a really long time. But perhaps the most significant was the guy who liked to take the occasional swing at me. Once I got out of that shit storm, I figured out what I'm worth and how I deserve to be treated.
     
  7. CanisDirus

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  8. Parker

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    Focus: For awhile I had a bad habit of having really high expectations of people then once I realized they weren't meeting those expectations, I'd be a dick to them. Not putting them on pedestals and praising the ground they walked on; I incorrectly thought if they were attracted to me then therefore they shared some of the personality traits I did. Namely the slight overconfidence, bravado, high self-esteem traits. Then when I found out they had more than what I deemed "proper amount" of insecurities, I'd basically try to crush them.

    Dated this Indian chick I randomly met at a work event. She came up to me and started talking, flirting. You can see how I quickly attributed all the aforementioned qualities because girls never do that. She had a manager position at Neiman Marcus, lived downtown, dressed well and had all her shit together. She was slightly older than me and I thought "This is awesome, this chick has all her shit together."

    Then I saw behind the curtain, she started telling me stories of all her past relationships and how she let herself get completely disrespected by dudes. That was the first part. Then she was basically campaigning for girlfriend status after a month because she wanted to have sex and couldn't do it outside of a relationship. I liked her and was for it until I jokingly asked her "Only if you answer this question. "Describe yourself in one word." Without hesitation, without any humor in her voice and very seriously she says "Grubby." "Really?" "Yep, Grubby." Cue me laying into her in person, then later on the phone and then breaking up with her. During the break-up call she claimed she was kidding, but I asked like 2-3 times, and she had no humor in her voice.
     
  9. jennitalia

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    Focus: My combination of naiveté and lack of a backbone has been pretty detrimental in my relationships. I never questioned anything and just let past boyfriends essentially walk all over me because I thought I was just being a good girlfriend by not "nagging." It wasn't entirely my fault obviously; they shouldn't have been manipulative and/or assholes, but me not standing up for myself didn't help the situation at all.

    Alt-Focus: Well now I have gigantic walls up and the second anything even starts to resemble a relationship, I'm unable to deal with it and just shut down. On the other hand, I'm also a lot more sexually confident, so that's been nice. Reading over Angel's response, she might just be future me or something.
     
  10. Cult

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    Focus: If this is being limited to romantic relationships out of the one I've been in I'd say both of us played an equal part in it being unhealthy. We were shitty to each other (and ourselves really) in our own ways.

    Alt Focus: I don't think it has really played any part at all to be honest. It was only a couple of months but if I ever find myself in a relationship again I hope I don't make the same mistakes.
     
  11. silway

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    Focus: Looking back, definitely. I had to fail at being a good boyfriend a lot before realizing what I wanted and how to be worthy of it. Though mostly it was being a bad communicator and wildly insecure as opposed to anything dramatic. All of which meant that I was always the one being dumped, which wasn't great for the self-esteem either though it eventually got me to do some introspection.

    Alt-Focus: I am a lot more clear, open, and direct about who I am, what I want, and what I care about than before. I'm a better partner for analyzing how I used to be a terrible one. I used to be the sort of person who "fell" into a relationship. Now it's all about open discussion and forthrightness. Well, I'm married now, but that's the person I became which formed the foundation of what is now my marriage. And as someone with permission to go outside the marriage, I find I have to be very clear about what I can and can't do and what hooking up with someone actually means for me. So basically, I grew up, got my shit together, and learned how to use my words more.
     
  12. lostalldoubt86

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    I kind of screwed over this sweet kid when I was in college. We met through mutual friends, and we quickly started a friends with benefits relationship. I went to college in an area that I knew I would not spend time in once I graduated, so I did not want a serious relationship. Our situation worked out well until he started a legitimate relationship with another girl. The only excuse I have for what happened next was that I was young and stupid. He made the mistake of bringing this chick to my apartment to hang out. I processed to get drunk and passive-aggressively insult everything this girl said and did. I made fun of the way she talked, the shape of her eyebrows (she had three for some reason. One on one side, and then two on the other side one on top of the other. I could not get over this.), her clothes, and generally everything about her as a fellow human being. A week later, they broke up because she didn't like his friends (basically me). Right after, he came over and apologized for being an asshole by bringing her to meet me and we started having casual sex again.

    Looking back, I'm seriously embarrassed by the whole thing. I acted like a psychopath to a girl I had never met before, which resulted in a really sweet guy losing out on something a little more permanent than a fuck-buddy relationship with an expiration date. That ordeal taught me to be honest with the men I choose to hang out with in the future.
     
  13. Rush-O-Matic

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    I think everybody did foolish and stupid things in prior relationships. It's part of figuring out the way to have a healthy one. Your parents or books or whatever can't teach you. You just have to do it.

    But this
    needs its own thread. Seriously, wtf, is this a thing?
     
  14. CanisDirus

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    Bad pluck job, or something?
     
  15. mya

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    My first boyfriend was perfect. Smart, attractive, athletic, kind, from a good family. Truth be told, he was probably too good for me. We dated for about 3 years. I was prone to fits of jealously in ways only an insecure high school girl can throw fits. He put up with it.Then I decided that I wanted to date the creepy older guy who still liked to date high school girls and broke up with him in a not very kind way. I probably went out with the creepy older guy in a matter of days. He certainly deserved better than that. They say that right time is as important as right person and I think this may have been the case. I was certainly not the type to settle down with my high school boyfriend, I had a lot of ho'ing I needed to get out of my system. At a different time after I sowed my wild oats maybe it would have worked out. Or maybe in the end, I still would have gotten bored with perfect.
     
  16. lostalldoubt86

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    I think that's just how they grew. She had one perfectly good eyebrow, and then the other one had a bald-spot running right through the middle. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen.
     
  17. JWags

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    I wouldn't say it was unhealthy, but I wasn't a great "boyfriend" in my college years. My second serious gf was great. Extremely pretty, funny, very outgoing, life of the party, but also really smart and introspective. However, she was 2 years younger, and when you're 20-21, that kind of causes you to not look on them with any sort of seriousness. Cut to me breaking up with her 3 weeks before school restarted because I wanted to be single for my senior year, despite knowing already I would be taking a 5th year and thus its not like it was my last year on campus. We had a fairly messy, drunken screams at each other, kind of breakup that rolled on into the school year. Fortunately, we both grew up and I consider her one of my close friends, but at the time it was terrible, mostly of my doing. We wouldn't be married or still together, but the relationship had alot more legs and probably would have taught me alot moving forward the rest of school.

    Post-said gf, I had a similar tendency to Parker, except there was no projection, just focusing on limited positives. In the span of 2 years, I had 3 different girlfriends who I began dating cause I thought they were nice/funny/hot/etc... and instead of realizing that it wasn't sustainable, we'd date, a month in I would have the "oh shit" moment, and suddenly find every other girl extremely attractive for the stupidest of reasons, and then be borderline nasty and cagey until I decided to break up with them. It was terrible.

    ALT-FOCUS: I think the biggest take away from those relationships, as well as my pair of post-college relationships, was a refined version of what I "need" from a significant other. Not a check list of attractive traits, but rather the kind of person that actually makes me better as a result. I settled too often, which is funny considering I wasn't a serial monogamist by any stretch of the imagination, but the relationships I got into, were seemingly for the wrong reasons.

    The downside of this is that I'm extremely picky. Its annoying. My mom has called me out on it, but thats partially cause I dont tell her about most of the girls I interact with. I "date" plenty, Ive been around, I just dont lock a girl down and have a traditional relationship very often. That's not to say I'm some player, I go into it with the best intentions, I just have a refined sense of what I'm looking for. Getting burned by flakey girls a few times recently has made me a bit cynical, but I've also found that if I'm truly into a girl, that gets stripped away rather quickly.
     
  18. shimmered

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    I forgot the AltFocus.

    Previous relationships have taught me:
    I can't be in a relationship with someone I don't genuinely like. I have to look forward to spending time with him, seeing him, and really want to be around him in order to be able to tolerate being in a relationship.
    Addiction is a battle only the addicted can fight, but the family is absolutely collateral damage. And I don't have time for that.
    Life's real fucking short. If the majority of your time is spent miserable - something has to change.

    As mentioned above - I've learned about my needs as an adult, a woman, a partner, and a friend. I need to have a genuinely intimate relationship with my partner. I need to be able to do things with him. I need to know that when it's work-time, he can keep up with me. I need to know that when he falls apart, he's going to keep moving forward...and when I fall apart, he'll know I'll do the same.
    In our relationship, love is a verb. It's a constant choice and action that we each take on every day to show one another that we're invested in being here.


    I've also learned that the idea that people are transient in my life, and that's okay, even if it sucks for awhile.

    I'm not more guarded necessarily. I don't have walls up. I tried that 'shutting down' thing for awhile and it made me miserable.

    So fuck it.

    I want to live well, love hard, and experience what it has to offer. I'm only getting one go 'round on this rock, and I refuse to spend that time holding my heart, my brain, or my soul back because of fear.
     
  19. Dcc001

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    This will be a bit rambling, and maybe slightly off-topic, but it's been running through my mind reading these two threads. Before I begin, I'm 34 and have never been in any kind of committed relationship. The closest I've come is a FWB situation that lasted about four years. He and I are still close, though we no longer "see" each other in that capacity. And, obviously, it was never monogamous. Here goes...

    On July 15th I took possession of a flip house. On Sept. 15th I put it back on the market with a complete renovation done. In that period, in my immediate group of associates:
    - My best friend, a woman I consider a sister, and her husband split. They were always volatile, and while they were equally guilty of dysfunction she walked away with the poorer financial situation.
    - Another very close friend and his wife split. Young kids are involved. This guy had never really been enthusiastic about his marriage or his wife, so when she ended it it was a huge surprise to me that he took it so badly. He went totally off the rails from an emotional standpoint.
    - My draftsman, a guy I speak with probably twice a week at length, and his wife are toast. He found out it was over when his five year old daughter said, "Daddy, I wish you could come with us next week!" To which he replied, "Why, where are you going?" and she said, "Our new school!" The ex had moved and enrolled the kids at school in another city without his knowledge.
    - My chiropractor and his wife. Again, young kids involved.
    - My main contact with the biggest client at my job. He and his wife also have young kids. They may be working through it, although I suspect she refuses to give him a separation that he keeps asking for.

    Taking a look around at people I deal with regularly, the relationships that I see are:
    - One person who on the surface has the perfect marriage and in reality is wildly unfaithful, counting the days till he can leave.
    - One person who is with a guy whose ex refuses to grant him a divorce. They've been together six years and their son is five...that's how long this woman has dragged it out, and there's no end in sight. Oh, and the ex is crazy, too. Will purposely hurt the children to get an upper hand with him.
    - One really nice guy who met a girl and their baby was born 10 months later. They're both good people, but we can all see the train wreck it's headed for.
    - One couple who seems to get along perfectly, but they're so crazy religious that it scares me. Like, she takes the young children to picket abortion clinics. That kind of religious.
    - One guy has a special needs son and he's admitted that even though the tension is sometimes unbearable, both he and his wife know that the other can't do it alone, so they stay and fight through it.

    I could go on. That's just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.. Also, I tend to have close friends who are male. When guys sense that you don't judge them they open up, and that's when you find out how unhappy/unfaithful/etc their relationships are. Oddly, a great number of them have bisexual tendencies that they're afraid to tell their partners because she "wouldn't be able to tolerate it." We're talking being unable to communicate basic sexual identity with a SPOUSE.

    My point in writing this is that, as an uninitiated person, I look around and it feels like everyone else has drank the Kool-Aid or something. Or like I'm in the Twilight Zone and I'm the only one who doesn't get the plot. The unbelievable emotional stress, financial hit and lack of control would kill me. Or, I'd have to kill my spouse if they started playing these kinds of games.

    For people that are chronically in relationships...do you think it's worth it? I'm sure there are good times, but I can't see too many examples where the risk was worth the reward. Thoughts?
     
  20. Jimmy James

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    Until you've been in a relationship and experienced the highs yourself, it would be like trying to explain how sex feels to a virgin. It's really that simple.

    Focus: I fell really hard for a girl about 7 or 8 years ago. There was a spark that I had never felt with anybody else up to that point. It felt as if I was riding the world's best roller coaster, but 24/7. I moved just about as fast. That overly attached girlfriend meme may as well have been me. She rightly broke up with me as soon as she realized that there was no putting the brakes on how quickly I had fallen for her. Looking back now, I'm really glad she did. She could have taken me for a ride and ruined relationships for me forever.

    Alt. Focus: Thanks to the above experience, I've kept people, women especially, away at arm's length. I resolved to never let myself lose emotional and mental control like that ever again. My then girlfriend now wife and I have had fights about us communicating better, but I feel that like we've worked at it and it's getting better.