Struggling w/ relationship, sexuality...need advice

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by sela9, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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    I have been with my girlfriend for about a year now. She is 35 and I am 29. When we met you would've thought we were night and day. She partied a lot, is very free-spirited, always positive. Me- home by 9 pm, don't drink much, have a routine, and I worry a lot. What we had in common was great chemistry, a perfect sense of humor (we could be locked up in a room for days and laugh the whole time), both career driven, love to go on adventures together, own our houses, want kids, family and to be financially successful.

    However, since day 1 I have always been one foot in and one foot out because of our differences. I always had doubts and concerns. Maybe it is due to my own personal issues, but that's been the case. She is amazing, such a loving person and when she gets in a relationship she commits and doesn't look back. She has made so many changes for me- quit partying and quit smoking. She's in it for the long haul. I however have questioned our future and if she is "the one" for me due to our differences.

    This past december I started having panic attacks, anxiety and became depressed at times from all this. I all the sudden worried about my future (30 is creeping up on me). I worried about how we would raise kids together and be together for the rest of our lives. I started doubting everything. I also have not been open about my sexuality. Only my close friends know and my immediate family. Before her I had a boyfriend for a year, a couple girlfriends here and there before him, and then a boyfriend of 5 years. With all this anxiety and questioning, I started to question whether I wanted to be with a girl anymore.

    I broke up with my girlfriend because I obviously have a lot I need to work on. She is 35 and I do no want to waste her time since she wants kids right now and to be married. This is devastating and I worry I am making the wrong decision, but I think in the long run this is what is needed. I know I have crushed her and she hoped I would just be with her and work on myself with her in the picture so we can grow and support each other. But, I cannot completely commit to her right now and don't want to waste her time.

    Has anyone else been through this? Any advice?
     
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  2. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Contact your ex and go into couples counseling with her. If it doesn't work, it won't have 'wasted her time' because it'll help her grieve the relationship and move on with a more clear understanding.

    She cared about you, was a good person, make sacrafices for the relationship and you guys had good chemistry. Take it from an old dyke, theres not many of those out there. Don't give her up without a fight.
     
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  3. Out Of Africa

    Out Of Africa Member

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    Dear Sela,

    Yes, I have been where you are.

    And I will happily share my story but first, can you elaborate on a few questions?

    1) I’m struck by the fact that not once do you mention the word love. Do you know what love is and did/do you love her?

    2) At present, what are the differences that cause you such pause? You volunteer she has amended her wild ways. What else is bothering you?

    3) If she were a man, would you be having the same panic and anxiety attacks? If so, would they be different and how?



    Like you- What we had in common was great chemistry( my nose flared while in her presence and her touch commanded my attention), appreciation for our senses of humor( she is dry), career driven, love to go on adventure travel trips, own our houses & a few more, love animals are committed to family and are financially successful & sound.

    We shared the same moral compass and our relationship was based on mutual trust and respect. And with her, I learned my individual and unique meaning of the word love. As like a snowflake, I believe love is different for everyone.

    I broke up with her because of my insecurities and fear. I’d only been with a man before and all my friends were heterosexuals. Majority of them still are! I was terrified of outing myself and wouldn’t or couldn’t imagine my life as a lesbian.
    I remember the gut wrenching night we broke up. It was after a play and dinner in Manhattan. She was in town for a client meeting and I not only blindsided but devastated her. We stayed up crying that night, only to fall asleep in each other’s arms. After she failed to convince me to reconsider, her lone request was that I keep my distance and not contact her.

    I loved her enough to respect her wish but I was broken and just miserable without her. I couldn’t eat or sleep. Something I’d never experienced in previous breakups. I was a blubbering, pitiful mess and over the next six months, I slowly realized that the fear of being outed was nothing compared to the reality of living my life without her.

    We’ve been together for ten plus years. She could certainly do better and I know without a doubt, I could only do worse.
     
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  4. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    Stories like yours make me hopeful. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  5. Out Of Africa

    Out Of Africa Member

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    Rac,

    You are wonderfully sweet but I certainly don’t mean to mislead you into believing we are anything more than we are. And that is, and will always be, a work in progress. There are always cycles and challenges and we constantly have aha moments. The joy is finding that partner who understands and believes it, you or an us is worth the hard work. Relationships are work.

    Partially why I come back to read the posts as the anecdotal experiences of others can always be helpful.

    As for the OP, I do believe she needs to identify and own the primary reason why she broke up with her gf. If she can do that, then she’ll be in a better position to understand and decide for herself if the breakup was a mistake or not.
     
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  6. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    Oh I agree with you, relationships can be difficult and involves a lot of compromise. I am dating a wonderful lady right now, who happened to be straight before we met (she still doesn't know how to identify herself.) She's not completely out yet. Ours is relatively new and sometimes, I cannot help but feel that the odds are stacked against us. So when I read stories like yours, it makes me feel more optimistic of the future.
     
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  7. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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  8. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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    Thank your your your response. It is very helpful. I do love her very much. I am a very guarded person and do not love easily. Before her, I loved my independence, sleeping in my own bed, and having my own life. When she came around that all changed. We have spent everyday together for the past year. I introduced her to my immediate family and wanted her involved in all aspects of my life.

    The differences are that we have very different backgrounds. I worry at times when she comes around my family because I don't know what she will say. In front of her family and friends, you can say whatever you want and they won't care. My family on the other end is more conservative, classy, etc... So, for instance...when my mom came over my girlfriend was a little hung over and i told her to not mention being hungover to my mom- pretend we had just went for a walk , etc... Gave her things to say...The first thing that came out of her mouth was "ugh, i drank too much last night". And I was shocked that she couldn't have any type of filter. I know this example sounds pretty small, but its just an example to show how I have to worry about what she will say, even though I communicated with her about and thought it would be all covered. She has also made comments in front of my parents about us sleeping together. I know, we are adults so it shouldn't be an issue- but this is important to me.

    If she were a man I would be with her. If I can feel this excitement to hang out with someone everyday then I would be incredibly happy. I don't think I would be having the panic attacks and anxiety at all. However, being with a guy you are able to say "oh he's just a guy, thats what guys do" when discussing their flaws... Whereas, with a girl I think it's easier to not look past the flaws and be hard on them. And with a girl I am worried about giving up the ease of having a family and children...and blending with society.
     
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  9. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's really controling. You gave her a script to say to your parents, then got all pissy when she didn't follow the script? I would have dumped you right there.

    People from different backgrounds can make it work - if they compromise. But picking all these "flaws" in her and criticizing her, demanding she change - that's not compromise.

    She smoked and partied when you met her. She was open and carefree when you met her. "I love you, now change into who I think you should be" doesn't work and isn't healthy. Being with someone different than yourself can give you balance and perspective. At times my wife drives me crazy, but she's opened tons of things up for me, too. I'll take the trade.

    If smoking and drinking are dealbreakers for you, OK, don't date a drinker. That's fair. But no person out there is going to meet all your exacting standards. So you're gonna be alone, or you're gonna have to learn compromise.

    I know it sounds like I'm blasting you, but that is not my intention. You are just setting yourself up for a lot of pain. You let a good girl go. Learn from your mistakes before it happens again.
     
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  10. aussie_gabby

    aussie_gabby Well-Known Member

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    I'm more worried that you think it's fine for a man and not a woman. Your expectations of a partner should be the same regardless of their gender.

    I get talking about sleeping together in front of your family is a bit too much. You should be able to just say 'I'd apreciate if you don't bring that up, it makes me feel uncomfortable'. But there are certain things you need to let go of like saying she had a bit too much to drink.

    As someone who is about to hit the big 3-0 in a few months I can say it's probably time to stop freaking out about what your parents think about your girlfriend being hung over once. If she treats you right and is willing to be able to stop smoking and partying for you ( which was a big deal) then she sounds like a keeper.

    I get needing your own space, so have you tried to talk to her about that?
     
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  11. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Wow...ok, just wow.

    Have you lost your mind? You're apologizing for your "different background" and giving your g/f scripts to please you family. What the hell is wrong with you? You're too worried about what other people think and are apologizing for her that you somehow got lost in whether you love HER for being her or whether you love the idea of her. Hello..I've dated people from different backgrounds...and indeed, I wasn't the classy wealthy one either. But I knew how to comport myself to where the idea of "different backgrounds" NEVER became an issue.

    This idea that you'd look past these flaws if she were a man? Jesus. This is complete and utter bullshit! If a guy's an asshole or has flaws, you don't accept those flaws because he's a guy and not a woman. You're finding excuses for your inability to accept and deal with who you are. You accepted this woman...who changed her ways for you...and by your own words, you've had one foot in and one foot out of the door since you got into this relationship. Actually..you've NOT accepted her for who she is. Get that through your head. You've not given her a fair chance at a relationship since you started down this road.

    The issue is all yours -- and she doesn't deserve you because you can't give her what she needs. You're constantly second guessing her actions and yourself...and wondering if "giving up the ease of having a family and children is worth it." Fucking stand on your own two feet and realize your actions are completely selfish. The girl deserves better -- breaking up with her to give her a chance at a real, accepting, requited relationship is the best thing you ever did for her.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  12. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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    Yes I know, I have a lot to work on and it's me, not her... I appreciate everyones honesty.
     
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  13. Out Of Africa

    Out Of Africa Member

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    Sela,

    I happen to think you are wonderfully awesome as you are sharing YOUR truth. You are being real about YOUR feelings, regarding YOUR relationship, and shame on the group for their judgment. I’m impressed by your honesty and delighted to see it on this forum.

    - Encouraged to hear you love her. I do believe real love is very special and something to be cherished. But love doesn’t necessarily conquer all and appears like there are other things that need to be tackled.

    - Sounds as if you have challenges digesting your sexuality. And in my untrained opinion, if you want to move forward and you want this relationship to succeed, you need to gain comfort with your feelings about your sexuality. I’ve seen tons of people on this site deny their feelings, marry a man and are miserable. Discover and own your feelings. I don’t know if that comes from a book, therapist or support group but you do need to further flush out why you are feeling the way you do.

    - As for the GF, mentioning your sex life in front of your mother was crass. It is disrespectful to both you and your mother. But why do you think she does it? For the shock value? Or is it something else? As for commenting on the hangover, why do you believe she would blatantly disregard your request? Could your girlfriend possibly be drawing her boundary? Is it her way of communicating to you that you went too far by trying to change her and tell her what to do?

    - Another question for you--- Did your gf quit partying because you asked her to or because she loved you and spending time with you replaced partying as her choice of drug? Do you see the difference between the two?

    - As for believing that a heterosexual relationship would be easier in that it is more acceptable by society than a lesbian one, at present that is fact. And there is nothing disingenuous about you for acknowledging that and the challenges that come with it. But thanks to your generation of trailblazers, that is changing and getting easier with every passing day.

    - Sooo……you need to ferret out why your girlfriend behaves the way she does in front of your parents or friends as it could be a deal breaker for you but if not, or if it is something that mutual comprise might solve, you owe it to yourselves to explore it.

    - Simultaneously, you need to work on that comfort level.

    - Last question….has your gf asked you to change anything about yourself?
     
    #13
  14. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Sela came here asking for advice -- that we should be honest should not be condemned, as we are all only reading what the reader chooses to share with us. Sometimes people require a proverbial wake up call; a dose of harsh reality, as-it-were. Treating someone with kid gloves does nothing in the way of assistance.

    I will say this...in my profession, I have to read people. I do it every day. I have to decipher fact from fiction. So, I find it insulting that you make the assumption that the poster knows what real love is because she thinks she's in love -- there's a difference, you know? I could say that I love someone a thousand times, but if my actions demonstrate anything but love, then which is fact and which is fiction? Based on what the OP posted, the situation presented is not love -- and nowhere near that. She said in her own words she's had one foot out the door from the moment she got involved with the girlfriend. The questioning of the OP about whether she's actually in love (and her self-admitted ambivalence as to her own identity) speaks volumes -- how can one truly love another when one does not love herself or even allow herself to commit to someone else? The woman said she'd overlook the same flaws in a guy, simply because he's male! Yes, sure, life would be easier living life in a heterosexual relationship (easier on the surface, that is)...but still, is that a reason to deny who you are in life?

    I respect that you came here offering support for the OP, but I think your opinion is misguided based on the facts as presented. However, I appreciate discourse, discussion and differing opinions and I won't condemn you or even insult you (as you did some of us) simply because I don't agree with what you've said. So, as you said, shame on me for providing honest judgment and feedback. In the same light, shame on you for sugarcoating what is an obvious problem with the OP's self-acceptance. I do agree with you that it's wonderful that the OP came here with honesty -- but I don't agree with you in that everything has to be rainbows and ponies in response to it. The OP doesn't deserve the girlfriend -- perhaps, she can learn from this.
     
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  15. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for you


    Wow, Thank you for your response. These are all great questions.

    I do love her. And anyone in our presence can see that. But love is NOT ENOUGH...hence the high divorce rates...

    She quit partying at first because I asked her too but a few bad influences around, she would get convinced to stay out late or even do drugs. For instance, one time we went and got drinks at a friends dinner party and then when we got home I had found out she did drugs and she ended up going out. I was shocked. She realized that was completely out of line and I would not put up with that so she took me seriously. Now she will say that she doesn't want to party because she rather spend more time with me. But, it's hard to completely ignore the past...red flags. So as much as I have wanted to brush those instances out of my mind, it's hard to.

    I do have problems with my sexuality and am currently working on that..reading, therapist..etc...

    She doesn't make crass comments to disregard my feelings, she just has no filter. Is very blunt and says how it is...

    AND YES. heterosexual relationships would be easier for outside people and children. but I want to live a truthful life so I need to stop worrying about this..

    She hasn't asked me to change anything other than to stop worrying about others...which I am trying. hah
     
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  16. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. I think that giving advice inherently has some measure of judgement. I don't see anything shameful about that. We're people here giving sincere advice, not a bunch of damned puppies who peed on the rug or something.

    The OP can read my posts and agree or not, accept them or not. I gave my honest judgement - that it's not healthy to try and totally change your partner and that you have to compromise in relationships.

    Maybe that isn't what she wants to hear and maybe that even hurts to hear, but it is my opinion and I stand by it. I've also known @Spygirl long enough to know that she is also offering her honest opinion - she doesn't get off on flaming people or anything like that.

    I'm not of the 'your feelings are OK, honor your feelings' crowd. I've had enough therapy to know that feelings aren't truth. Certain feelings are baggage and you don't give in to them; you take a step back and see if you should be looking at the situation in another way. Y'know, examine your beliefs, change your thoughts, change your feelings and all that.
     
    #16
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  17. sela9

    sela9 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate everyones honesty. I knew when writing the post I would receive these kind of responses. I am working on myself. I know there is lot that I have to improve on and I'm working on it. I love my girlfriend and have showed her daily with my actions, but need to work on my commitment and realize where its stemming from. Thank you for honest answers...but Out of Africa THANK YOU! VERY HELPFUL.
     
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  18. Out Of Africa

    Out Of Africa Member

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    Sela came here to share her voice. People come here looking for compassion, understanding as well as answers. Not to be attacked.

    “Have you lost your mind? You're apologizing for your "different background" and giving your g/f scripts to please you family. What the hell is wrong with you?” Your words….

    What part of that free flow falls under advice? And note, I am stopping my comments there as I have no interest to be mean spirited and I don’t want to steal Sela’s thread.

    If you really want to help, spend time understanding the person and their situation.
    **************************************************************************************************

    Sela,

    This is where it’s hard as people have to change because they want to change. Not because they are required to change. It’s a discussion point you need to have with your gf and others above have addressed that. But from what you share, sounds as if it is a deal breaker for you. May I ask why? Are we talking heroin or pot?


    I do have problems with my sexuality and am currently working on that..reading, therapist..etc...That’s great. You recognize it and you are taking the steps to work on it. Mind if I ask what scares you the most? For me, the whole concept was a mental overload. I am a consultant in a “boys club field.” I was insecure with how everyone would judge me…from High School, to College Sorority to Country Club. And with time, I realized that real friends will always be there and the others, well, I stopped worrying about them as much.


    She doesn't make crass comments to disregard my feelings, she just has no filter. Is very blunt and says how it is...Ok, I did giggle a bit at your expense. Apologies as I just don’t have any guidance on this one. This is a big, ingrained, behavioral issue that is hard to break. My brother and I tease each other relentlessly when we are in each other’s presence and it drives my girlfriend and his wife insane. Yes, I still laugh hysterically if he locks me out of a car and drives ahead five feet before stopping.
    My gf HATES my lack of appreciation for the seriousness surrounding sports teams and rivalries. I love the Yankees vs. Red Soxs and regardless of who wins, I appreciate how hard they play against each other. I value the game but most “normal” people have a favorite team they are passionate about and a comment like “good game”, when they lose, apparently is a really a bad idea. And no matter how often she has pointed this out, I can’t stop….and while I find it funny, she gets furious. My point, bet your gf doesn’t even realize she is doing it. Ever thought of imposing a funny penalty? Like she has to streak around the block if she does it again? I promise you, it makes one think a bit more before speaking.

    Where do you stand at present? Did you move out? How long ago? Are you still communicating? How is she holding up? How did you leave it? Is it just a break or was it permanent? Would she go to couples counseling? How are you? Has your anxiety improved?
     
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  19. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Sela9, has someone let you down so badly before that you are now making sure that whoever you are with has to be perfect?
     
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  20. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    pops popcorn...
     
    #20
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