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Relationship Health Message Board


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[QUOTE=goody2shuz]Stacy ~ Something is definitely going on here and I think you shouldn't ignore it. You can remain with Justin out of comfort but my instincts tell me that if everything were all it should be you wouldn't be feeling this array of emotions. Everything you describe points towards not being ready to commit. And I do not think that it would be fair to Justin to give him the impression that you are when everything you describe here says that you aren't. My mom often tells me that you should never do something that your mouth says yes to and your heart shouts no to. And I follow that advice alot in my life. ;)

I agree with Ruth in the sense that you should either get out there and date more or not date at all for a while. Your post speaks so strongly about how you are not ready to commit to one guy at this time.

I also must agree with Heartland in the sense that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. As one who has the habit of saying things as I see them your dating lifestyle is short of promiscuous.....I don't mean to say that in a hurtful way because I have grown to love you as I do my own daughter but to date like a guy and love having sex with so many guys, sometimes women use this as a defense mechanism of some sort in which Heartland touched on a little bit. He put it in a loving and precise manner that I couldn't even compete with. I think it defintitely advice that you should seriously consider at this time.


This is so unlike the Stacy we all know. There is far more to this than you may think, Stacy, and you shouldn't be feeling this way if you were ready for a monogamous relationship or for Justin. You really need to take a big step back and look more into what is going on. I know that you mentioned alot of your friends having moved on and so many changes occurring all at once in your life. I think it is time to take a good look at what's ging on in your life and what you need to do to make yourself happy again. It even sounds as if you may wish to weigh moving back to Philly to where you feel most at home. Only you can sort through all of this but I have a feeling that you ought to take away anything that is adding unnecessary pressure and stress in order to figure this all out.

I am here for you as always to help you sort out if need be. Please do not brush this all under the rug....a big red flag is there that I have seen for some time now and it's time you faced it and try your best to overcome it.

Lots of (((HUGS))) ~ Goody :wave:[/QUOTE]


Yes, I definitely agree that something is going on with me that I need to explore further and come to terms with. While I don't agree even remotely with the double standards most people subscribe to when it comes to sex, I do see there are some really important issues here that I need to consider and try to resolve. I don't think any of this has to do with me being fearful of commitment and monogamy, nor do I think that having strong desires for more than one man mean I'm somehow flawed or that all this is a defense mechanism rather than just my honest, healthy attitude toward my sexuality. So as far as issues of men and sex are concerned, I am completely certain they aren't at all unhealthy or problematic for me. This is one instance where what you see is what you get, and there’s nothing unhealthy or lacking in me lurking beneath the surface of my sexual feelings...anyway, please take me at my word that I just love sex and I love men, lots of them. I have always been this way, and I've loved all my experiences with guys so far...I actually find it empowering and good for my confidence to be free and open with my desires and pursue what I long for without any shame or guilt imposed by external observers. But that doesn’t explain why I’m feeling so sad and confused lately…

I wish I could put my finger on just what is bothering me...I know what it isn't--it has nothing to do with Justin, or commitment, or sex and dating. It's more like I feel generally unsettled and for the first time ever, I'm not sure exactly where I want my life to be going. It's always been hard for me not to have everything planned out and know what is coming next for me, and I don't deal well with change. I like for things to feel settled and stable, and right now, I have no clue where I'll be, who I'll be with, and what I'll be doing in the future. I'm feeling kind of lost and drifting...so it's definitely bothering me that my friends have scattered and that I'm unsure of my future course in life. I think that might be part of the reason I'm just discontented with everything and questioning a lot of things lately...it's like I just want to know for sure how everything will turn out, and it really frustrates me at times that that's impossible. There are just no guarantees or certainties in life, and while I'm usually okay with that and happy to enjoy the ride and see what life brings my way, there are also times where it bothers and worries me that I don't have a set, planned path in life. I think the central issue in all of this sadness and confusion is my pain, which has deeply impacted every aspect of my life.

Before it happened, I was successful and confident with almost everything I tried and felt like I could do anything I put my mind to. I knew exactly how I wanted to proceed after college...but now that something completely outside my control limits and inhibits me in an unfamiliar, scary, and depressing way, I'm feeling very lost and mourning the loss of the person I was before this pain set in. I really miss that time when I truly believed I could do anything I set my mind to, and that nothing could come between me and my goals...I never conceived of something like a chronic illness coming into play and changing everything as drastically as it has. Not only did it erode and destroy a relationship I believed was the one for me, long-term, but it has gotten in the way of my educational and professional goals because I never know what I'll feel well enough to accomplish on a given day. That makes it extremely difficult to plan ahead or feel confident in tackling new endeavors, because my success or failure is no longer completely within my control :confused:. Does that make any sense, and does it help make what I've said earlier in this thread make any more sense? I really think the core issues here are the pain and the general uncertainty and fear about the future that it has caused. I just wish there was some way I could take back control of my life and not be subject to stressors, pressures, and obstacles I have no power to overcome. I feel like everything has changed dramatically for me now, and I can't help but mourn the loss of the me and the life I had before the pain came, along with feel terribly confused, sad, and scared about all the uncertainty and pain that lies ahead for me :confused:. Thank you so much Goody for being there for me and being completely honest with me...I really need all the support and advice you can muster these days, as I'm feeling very sad and floundering, kind of treading water I guess. You guys are the best, and I don't know what I would do without you to vent to and get such caring insight from :).

I want to apologize for reacting so strongly to some of what you guys have said...I know you have nothing but kind wishes for me and the most helpful, good intentions. And as always I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful advice. I guess it's just a bit of a sore spot for me when people make inaccurate assumptions about me based on my gender, especially assumptions they wouldn't make about a man with the same attitude toward the opposite gender and sexuality. People have been trying to judge me and pigeon-hole me my whole life because I don't fit into the normal mold of a sexual female, which people are comfortable with...they like seeing all women as deeply emotional, not interested in sex for just physical gratification, and longing for a monogamous committed relationship. Women who like sex for the sake of their own pleasure scare people for some reason, and people have been incredibly harsh and judgmental toward me, making all sorts of completely off base assumptions about how I must be insecure, desperate for approval, or otherwise messed up for being sexually confident and assertive towards a variety of men when I'm actually the least insecure and needy woman I've known in a long time. So this is a very touchy subject for me, and I am very sorry if my response was overly strongly or harshly worded at points. The last thing I ever want to do is take out my frustration at other people on my wonderful cyber friends and family…I love you all and have immense respect for your opinions along with deep gratitude for all your help and support :).
[QUOTE=eaglesgirl37]Yes, I definitely agree that something is going on with me that I need to explore further and come to terms with. While I don't agree even remotely with the double standards most people subscribe to when it comes to sex, I do see there are some really important issues here that I need to consider and try to resolve. This is one instance where what you see is what you get, and there’s nothing unhealthy or lacking in me lurking beneath the surface of my sexual feelings...anyway, please take me at my word that I just love sex and I love men, lots of them. I have always been this way, and I've loved all my experiences with guys so far...I actually find it empowering and good for my confidence to be free and open with my desires and pursue what I long for without any shame or guilt imposed by external observers. But that doesn’t explain why I’m feeling so sad and confused lately…[/QUOTE]

Stacy ~ Your sexual lifestyle I must say is out of the norm for most women and men. While rereading my post I regret having said "to date like a guy" and I am surprised Realguy didn't pick up on that one and thought it would be smart to correct it before Heartland did. :eek: That was wrong of me to say and isn't what I meant to say either. I mean, I think that anytime somebody is "exclusively" dating....to have this strong urge to be with others or crave the attention of others of the opposite sex strongly suggests a subliminal need that is not being met. I cannot ignore your sharing with us here how women often feel threatened by you and that you have difficulty making any real female friendships because of your sexuality.

I do not think it is a gender biased thinking in viewing anyone who wants to be sexually active with many other people at the same time as being somewhat of a "player" mindset of thinking. Looking at this across the board, anyone that comes to these boards (single or married) saying that they cannot stop the feeling of wanting to be able to live a single lifestyle of seeking the love and affection of other people of the opposite sex will be told that they are not at all ready for a monogamous/commited relationship. And my advice to you is much the same.

I recall my pointing out to you how it may be difficult for you to remain monogamous in a relationship and after reading your response to LMH I wasn't surprised that even while Patrick you experienced similar feelings. To learn more about this I asked Tom if at anytime while he was dating a girl if he were playing the field dating others and he told me that he hadn't. For most people this is the norm....and nobody means to apply any double standards here because whether it be by male or female, I see such behavior as you have described as somewhat promiscuous. And usually when one demonstrates such behavior there is an underlying factor.

I recall asking you once if while you were married what would you do if your husband couldn't satisfy your sexual desires???? If you experience these feelings of wanting to be with other guys while dating how are you ever going to be able to turn them off when married or committed to another or if somehow the other is unable to fulfill your sexual needs???? You know that this is not the first time I have brought this up with you.

The fact is, Stacy, you are single now and really don't have to worry so long as you are truthful & honest with someone you are exclusively dating of being honest enough with them in telling them that you are unable to remain exclusive. And I think this is what is most bothering you now because you know this is the right thing to do with Justin but you do not want to lose him.

[QUOTE=eaglesgirl37]I wish I could put my finger on just what is bothering me...I know what it isn't--it has nothing to do with Justin, or commitment, or sex and dating. It's more like I feel generally unsettled and for the first time ever, I'm not sure exactly where I want my life to be going. It's always been hard for me not to have everything planned out and know what is coming next for me, and I don't deal well with change. I like for things to feel settled and stable, and right now, I have no clue where I'll be, who I'll be with, and what I'll be doing in the future. I'm feeling kind of lost and drifting...so it's definitely bothering me that my friends have scattered and that I'm unsure of my future course in life. I think the central issue in all of this sadness and confusion is my pain, which has deeply impacted every aspect of my life.

I feel like everything has changed dramatically for me now, and I can't help but mourn the loss of the me and the life I had before the pain came, along with feel terribly confused, sad, and scared about all the uncertainty and pain that lies ahead for me :confused:. Thank you so much Goody for being there for me and being completely honest with me...I really need all the support and advice you can muster these days, as I'm feeling very sad and floundering, kind of treading water I guess. You guys are the best, and I don't know what I would do without you to vent to and get such caring insight from :). [/QUOTE]

Stacy ~ I understand this more than you may think having expereinced much of the same in my life. Chronic pain affects our lives in such a way that not many understand other than another who experiences it. There are times that I don't know which is the lesser of two evils...the pain or the meds. I think you must feel the same way. When in pain it is difficult to focus on everyday things and when on meds well, it's much of the same. The side effects are often as debilitating as the pain. And so it's a no win situation at times in our lives. I have found at times I had to go on Wellbutrin to get me through the tough times and this may be one of those times for you. And the good thing is it doesn't have the sexual side effects that other antidepressants have so if you haven't been on an antidepressant you may wish to consider this as a last resort. I took it because I didn't know if my behavior stemmed from PMSing or chronic pain and my physician told me that it was the mildest form of medication and it did help. As with any med....I only take it when absolutely necessary and haven't been on it for years.

I know firsthand how chronic pain alter's one's life....mine started in 1985 when I was only 26 years old. I was going to PT every day with K. who was only 6 months old. It altered all that I dreamed of doing as a mother, nurse, wife etc. But I compensated by finding other ways of satisfying my passions in life. My daughters know about my limitations since they were born as a way of life. They know that they need to carry the groceries, vacuum and do things to save my back from further degeneration. My youngest explains to her friends that my mom "broke her back" when I can't do certain things. It aches me to hear her say this and I guess the worst part of it is when I get the point of having to depend on others to do things that I can not do. But I find again that looking at the cup half full instead of half empty is the way to go. I was fortunate enough to not have to work but it still was alot to give up and sacrifice in terms of not being able to do some of the things that I loved to do. Again, I fill in the gaps with alternatives that I can do that will make me feel important and happy. That's what you will need to do. Don't look back on what you want but instead ahead to what you have in your life.

[QUOTE=eaglesgirl37]I want to apologize for reacting so strongly to some of what you guys have said...I know you have nothing but kind wishes for me and the most helpful, good intentions. And as always I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful advice. I guess it's just a bit of a sore spot for me when people make inaccurate assumptions about me based on my gender, especially assumptions they wouldn't make about a man with the same attitude toward the opposite gender and sexuality. People have been trying to judge me and pigeon-hole me my whole life because I don't fit into the normal mold of a sexual female, which people are comfortable with...they like seeing all women as deeply emotional, not interested in sex for just physical gratification, and longing for a monogamous committed relationship. Women who like sex for the sake of their own pleasure scare people for some reason, and people have been incredibly harsh and judgmental toward me, making all sorts of completely off base assumptions about how I must be insecure, desperate for approval, or otherwise messed up for being sexually confident and assertive towards a variety of men when I'm actually the least insecure and needy woman I've known in a long time. So this is a very touchy subject for me, and I am very sorry if my response was overly strongly or harshly worded at points. The last thing I ever want to do is take out my frustration at other people on my wonderful cyber friends and family…I love you all and have immense respect for your opinions along with deep gratitude for all your help and support :).[/QUOTE] Stacy ~ there is no need to apologize. As I pointed out in my post I meant no offense and never do in anything I say to you here....I have found that friends here are able to say things to one another knowing that we only have one anothers best interests at heart. And I do value the ability that each of us have to be honest in our posts and telling one another when something we say comes across offensively or hurts. That's the uniqueness of these boards & in getting to know one another. I hope the words and ideas you get here remind you of this.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody :wave:
Hi Heartland, yes I think what you say makes a lot of sense, and I certainly wasn't meaning to speak of anyone in particular with what I said! I really apologize for not being more sensitive or thoughtful in thinking about how that could apply to individual people here...please believe I was not intending it that way nor do I ever intend to be insensitive though I know I sometimes really fail there. I absolutely believe that your experience (and probably a few other lucky couples out there are in the same boat) was everything I think a fulfilling and truly loving partnership should be. However, I think you are one VERY rare exception among the vast majority of people who are either too scared or too unappealing to attract more than one or two partners...many of those people do settle in life because they don't have the passion and courage to take risks and pursue their real dreams, rather than taking the safe, traditional route and settling with someone who is just okay. That's not at all what it sounds like you did, but even so, I suppose a couple like this could conceivably get as lucky as you and Mrs. H, but, honestly, the chances of someone finding a great partner with whom they can develop a great sex life on the first try have got to be infinitesimal...but I certainly did not intend to say it wasn't possible! There are people with tons of sexual experience who aren't good lovers, and those with little experience who are good lovers, but the opposite scenario is FAR more common, which is why I can't help but feel it's a silly, unambitious ideal to want to find lasting love right away without experimenting to some degree to learn more about what you want and need in a compatible life partner. It's too important to ever rush into a relationship or settle for someone who doesn't knock your socks off, and it makes me so happy that you and Goody got what you both wanted in the sense of settling down into marriage AND building lasting, loving, and wonderful partnerships :). But there are still a lot of people out there who will be willing to suffer almost any misery or frustration in order to make things work with their first or second partner, just because they think it's right ideally.

But nothing is that black or white...and things can turn out as horrible and nightmarish for some young couples as they turned out wonderfully within your marriage. So what happens to all the young couples who sacrifice their youth as a time to grow, learn, experience new things, mature, and understand themselves just to get married to the first person they love because "that's the right thing to do." What becomes of all those couples who stay together because they don't want to sleep with more than one person, who never know what great love and sex is like because they think it's essential not to experiment with dating and sex? I think they far too often end up hardened, cold, and almost a little dead inside when their one flash of love was so brief and short-lived that they were too young and dumb to even fully appreciate it. These people, not the wise and lucky ones like you and Mrs. H, are who I was talking about, those people who delude themselves into thinking their first partner will be and must be the love of their lives, and end up staying too long or in some cases, forever with a partner who doesn't come close to satisfied their wants and needs (which could have been discovered and fulfilled with a little more time, patience, and open-mindedness). Does that make more sense? I guess it's kind of like when older people find their true love at 80 or something...to me the odds of it happening as a teenager are probably even slimmer, considering how inexperienced, illogical, and hormonally motivated young people are when it comes to mature, lifelong partnerships. And I bet a lot of those poor people who settle then delude themselves into thinking their sex lives must be okay, not knowing anything different, because very few people get to experience the kind of love, intimacy, and passion you have been so lucky to find.

There's nothing that makes me sadder than people who don't even know how much they've lost or never had...So I still do think that in most cases, it IS settling to give up on sex and dating after only a few partners, though of course there are always exceptions to every rule. I am so happy you found Mrs. H when you did and that you were both ready and willing to become life partners...that is a remarkable, extremely rare and unusually precious love story. I hope you know how lucky you are to have found something most people never will find, or at least something that most people don't bother searching for because they'd rather settle for something traditional and comfortable rather than be brave and face the future alone, allowing their identity to develop to its fullest AND hold out for the kind of amazing relationship only a few select wonderful couples have the good fortune to successfully forge. I'm just happy you and Goody are among those rare couples, because no one deserves to be content more than you two!

PS--I also agree about quality over quantity when it comes to love, but unfortunately, most people with a small quantity of sexual experience reflect it in their lack of imagination, techical expertise, and uninhibitedness. So assuming one doesn't get lucky enough to find a lifelong lover on one of their first tries, then quantity does start to matter. Who among us would want to sleep with a mature man who still had the sexual clumsiness and ignorance as a fumbling, overeager teenage boy rather than one who had years of experience pleasing different women in inventive, complex ways? And vice versa, as I've grilled numerous men to find out, despite the misconception that men prefer an inexperienced lover, in reality, all but the most insecure and inadequate sexual performers want women who is almost exactly like the male lovers women prefer: excited, uninhibited, open minded, very knowledgable and in tune with their own desires along with the bodies and responses of the opposite sex, inventive, and passionate in bed. That takes a little time to develop for very sexual young women and men with great instincts, so here it's both quality and quantity that count (in the sense of the amount of expermenting you do, not necessarily the number of partners). I am pretty sure that for many men and the majority of women, it takes years, even decades, of experience and experimentation to reach their full potential as skillful, sensitive, and intuitive lovers. And this is only assuming these people are fortunate enough to find lovers who bring out the best in their sexual natures...so yes, quality definitely counts more than quantity, but a mix of both benefits everyone, even those cute and passionate engineers :) or cyber moms who are lucky enough to confine most of their experimentation to one amazing and special partner and have undoubtedly had wonderful sex lives as a result. At least I hope so, yikes, enough about cyber family and sex! Anyway, thanks for explaining more about where you're coming from...I don't actually think we disagree much here, we both agree that love with a true partner is wonderful and that sex isn't immoral or wrong per se, as long as the people involved don't think so. Thanks for explaining more where you're coming from...it's fascinating to hear your perspective, because I'd like to think we understand each other very well, despite coming at this issue from drastically different perspectives.





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