Seeking words of wisdom

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Thewootness, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Thewootness

    Thewootness New Member

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    Let me begin by saying I love my fiancee very much, and our relationship is solid. I will also put it out there that I am her first lesbian relationship for her after her divorce (from a man, and sidebar I'm bisexual).

    Her first marriage was very abusive and I am the only one who knows the extent of the abuse. I struggle with anger towards her ex, and I will admit I am occasionally jealous of him. I know I should focus on making our life together amazing, and I shouldn't let him mess with our lives now. But there are days when it is hard to let go when her family still supports him and alienates me. Any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated, as I am at a loss as how I should deal with these negative feelings.
     
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  2. Writer23

    Writer23 Active Member

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    Hi Thewootness,

    Sometimes it relationships it is so easy to believe the things that our partners say about his or his ex. However, in reality, how do we really know if those things are entirely true. “Abuse” is a very serious issue and I am sure that your partner’s ex was abusive. Nevertheless, on some level, her family loves him so perhaps he is not that bad of a guy. Families do not generally love a person who is abusing or was abusing his or her love one. I think you mean well in your noble obligation to protect her, but it is very possible that you do not have the whole story. You have to focus on your relationship with her, not what she had with him. You said what you have with her is “Solid” and “Solid” is very good. As a side note: If you are jealous of him , your relationship is not solid. If you know with absolute certitude that she loves you, you have no reason to be threatened by anyone- man or women. If she loves you and you are still jealous, that is a hard burden for her to bear. She cannot make you secure, only you can do that. If you do not, your insecurity will drive a wedge between you two. Worrying about what is going on with him and what is happening with him will drive you crazy. Just be the best loving and caring and thoughtful girlfriend that YOU can be.

    With respect to her family, you said that you are her first girlfriend, so it sounds like they just need time. Love her and let them see that she is happy and they will come around. Also, if he truly was abusive , they will ,in time ,embrace the notion of her being in a loving relationship - irrespective of the gender of her partner.

    Good Luck

    Writer
     
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  3. Thewootness

    Thewootness New Member

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    I am struggling with the annoyance that he brings. He is very manipulative, and played the victim when their marriage ended. When we started dating he targeted us, and accused her of cheating on him with me. I should mention he is a local musician and knows how to turn on the charm to make himself look like a "good" person.

    Recently he put an album (on his own dime, he's not good enough to be signed) that uses my last name as a play on words. I thought once the divorce was over he would leave us be, and her family would be more supportive of her/us, but that's not the case. I appreciate your advice. I think I just need to control my temper better.


     
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  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Abusive people are generally charismatic because they have developed the means to be able to draw people into their lair and control them. It is amazing that your fiancee was able to get out of that situation. You are amazing for standing with her 110%.

    Is your fiancee in counseling? I think that would be a really good thing for her. I hope you guys can find the courage to block social media situation. Families can be very very annoying in situations like this and most families are a bit homophobic and usually root for the incumbent relationship they already know. Of course they would not see the abuse. Most people like others to think they are in great relationships and not being dumped on or beat on emotionally and physically.

    Try to find one ally in her family and build from there. Try to do fun things in your alone time, find the joy that only you and her are about. Do things she could not have done while living under his thumb.

    I wish you and your fiancee all the happiness and hope you can make up for a lot of lost time.

    P.S. That taunt with the song is like some high school bully tactic. What a turd! I am sorry to hear that. Hope you can find a way to ignore him.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  5. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I think this is really dangerous advice. Victims of abuse and domestic violence are generally doubted, at every level, and counseling a survivor's partner to doubt her experience - it makes me very uncomfortable and doesn't take into account how abusive relationships typically operate.

    The first step in abusive relationships is a charm offensive; no one would get involved with abusers if they couldn't convince people that they are loving, funny, "good guys." This is sometimes called "love bombing," and it is often present at the beginning of - and then intermittently throughout, to reengage and gaslight victims - relationships that become abusive.

    Abusers are generally very, very good at normalizing their behavior and hiding abuse, to the degree that even victims may take years - even after a relationship has ended - to fully see and realize the extent of the manipulation. It's common for families and friends to not believe victimized partners, because "he's always so nice to us" or "well, I've never heard him raise his voice" or similar. Abuse is often invisible to families, and a lot of abusive behavior is normalized in hetero contexts (ie, jealousy over friendships, controlling behavior, "you're all I live for" type threats). So it doesn't shock me that a family would stick to the charming familiar - and acceptably male - former partner.

    Abuse is a serious charge. It's also way, way more common, in little and big ways, then we are general ready to admit.

    ----
    Regardless, OP:
    Her family is not there for you, and that sucks. What sucks even more is that their behavior is totally out of your control.

    In your shoes, I would do two things:

    (1) Disengage from Abusive Ex.
    • Block him on social media, email, etc. There are site-blocking apps for Firefox and Chrome, and you could block his websites, twitter feed, whatever. It is totally normal and human to worry at this ache, but you can limit your access to the sore spot.
    • Practice a polite but firm, "Not interested in Abusive Ex's doings! How about the sportsball?" conversation change if people bring him up to you. If they insist on talking about him, try: "Wow. I just said I don't want to talk about him" + walking away. (You are not being rude or awkward - they are by not respecting a totally reasonable boundary!)
    (2) Cultivate a support network that's not Girlfriend's family.
    • Queers! are Here For You. Try meetup.com, and googling "LGBTQ [insert hobby here]. The folks you meet through knitting, line dancing, wine tasting, whatever will be potential friends who understand what crappy, minorly homophobic families are like.
    • Is your family supportive? It's okay to go there more! Families who support Abusive Exes don't get to eat as much pie with you; your girlfriend probably doesn't love the "but Ex was so great!!" BS either, and might welcome some family time without the baggage.
    • You also get to not go to Girlfriend's family gatherings etc, if that's a thing that's happening, or to set firm limits on your attendance. You get to leave when someone defends Ex to you, or says something snarky.
    • Make your home a place that feels like home - by inviting friends over, cooking (or ordering) amazing things to eat, and laughing and playing games and creating memories.
    I'm gonna be real, not being loved by her family -especially when they are choosing a person who hurt her - will probably always ache a little. The thing you can control, though, is all the other ways you surround yourself and your relationship with chosen family and loving friends, so that that ache isn't so dominating.
     
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