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I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but I just wanted to get some feedback, although it probably won't change my mind. maybe I'm looking for some validation or just to vent, I don't know, but anyway...

Some of you may know about a male friend of mine who has periodically been a "friend with benefits" to a degree, though I've madeup my mind that part's over. But even though I guess I still want him as a friend, I don't really feel like he treats me or sees me as friend. i.e. he never calls just to say hi or never wants to really talk to me when I call just to see how he's doing. The only time he ever calls me is when he needs a favor or something. And when we do talk, he is rather crude, asking me perverted questions and being sexually crass. I guess I set myself up for this by the "benefits" but he knows I'm a good girl and don't that with just anyone, and that I only fooled around with him because I was just trying anything I could think of the numb this blinding, soul crushing pain I feel over my ex every day. So I feel sort of like a hypocrite by taking a stand now, but I really feel I deserve to be treated with more respect than that. I want to put my foot down and tell him I don't want to be spoken to like that anymore, but I know he'll just say he's only kidding and I need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. The thing that makes it worse is that there's this pretty young blond girl, a friend of his, actually she's the girlfriend of a friend and client of his, that he's hot for. He's told me he's frustrated and that she "scares" him because he likes her so much but he feels he can't trust her because she confided in him as a friend about troubles she's having with her boyfriend, his friend and client, and then didn't leave him. He still flirts with her really heavily, whispering in her ear, tickling her bare tummy, etc. and is upset because she hasn't left his friend and client. But I know he doesnt' speak to her like that. Of course they havent' been intimate at all, even though they've slept in the same bed, but didn't do anything because of her boyfriend.

It's not that I'm jealous. I have absolutely no desire for a romantic relationship with this guy, and I certainly never made any promises so I'm not making any demands. He's free to date, sleep with, fall in love with whomever he wants. I just don't know why it's so hard for people to treat me with any kind of respect when I see those same people bend over backwards to treat other people with all kinds of kindness and respect. This plus the fact that when he goes off on his rants about his church and God, and because I worship my own way in my own Catholic church and have my own views, he says I'm selfish, ignorant, blind, etc because I don't experience and worship God the exact same way he does.

At this point, it doesn't look like I'll ever be talking to him again, but if I do, I want to tell him to stop talking to me that way, but I just hate the idea of having to kick yet another person out of my life. It's getting to the point where I feel like maybe i'm such a stupid, annoying, terrible person that I don't deserve to have any people who genuinely care about me in my life and I'm just destined to live my whole life alone and miserable only having shallow, emotionally unsatisfying acquaintance-ships that never go beyond polite small talk and never establish true emotional intimacy with anyone ever again. I feel just like the character Janice in Friends, except I unfortunately don't have the blessing of ignorance that she had. I mean, what if she suddenly became aware of how Chandler and the gang really truly felt about her all along? And what if she never found any other people who liked or treated her any better than they did? How easy would it be for her to go on with her head held up?
[QUOTE=Hiya] But even though I guess I still want him as a friend, I don't really feel like he treats me or sees me as friend. i.e. he never calls just to say hi or never wants to really talk to me when I call just to see how he's doing. The only time he ever calls me is when he needs a favor or something. And when we do talk, he is rather crude, asking me perverted questions and being sexually crass. I guess I set myself up for this by the "benefits" but he knows I'm a good girl and don't that with just anyone, and that I only fooled around with him because I was just trying anything I could think of the numb this blinding, soul crushing pain I feel over my ex every day. So I feel sort of like a hypocrite by taking a stand now, but I really feel I deserve to be treated with more respect than that. I want to put my foot down and tell him I don't want to be spoken to like that anymore, but I know he'll just say he's only kidding and I need to lighten up and get a sense of humor.[/QUOTE]

Hi Hiya, I'm really sorry to hear this is causing you stress and unhappiness. I can remember numerous other occasions where this FFWB has aroused a similar reaction in you, when you have been pretty sure you were no longer going maintain a relationship with him. I've always believed that if someone you know has more of an overall negative than positive impact on you, it's best to cut ties and move on without them in their life. It doesn't seem that your FFWB brings much of anything to your life other than reminding you of your ex, chastising you for not being over your ex, asking you for favors, and generally making you feel used, unappreciated, and sad. So I'm inclined to say that this should be the time you stick to your urge to cut him out of your life for good, but of course that's easier for me to say than you to follow through on, and I can certainly understand your reluctance to cut ties to one of the few people you consider a real-life friend. The best advice I can give you as far as how to proceed with FFWB is to think back on how he's effected your life both positively and negatively and evaluate which category dominates, then go with your gut in deciding how to handle him in the future.

[QUOTE=Hiya]It's not that I'm jealous. I have absolutely no desire for a romantic relationship with this guy, and I certainly never made any promises so I'm not making any demands. He's free to date, sleep with, fall in love with whomever he wants. I just don't know why it's so hard for people to treat me with any kind of respect when I see those same people bend over backwards to treat other people with all kinds of kindness and respect. This plus the fact that when he goes off on his rants about his church and God, and because I worship my own way in my own Catholic church and have my own views, he says I'm selfish, ignorant, blind, etc because I don't experience and worship God the exact same way he does.[/QUOTE]

Iím not quite sure I understand what his new crush has to do with your feelings toward him. I could see if he was sleeping with her with no regard for her boyfriendís feelings, but he seems to be restraining himself from crossing any really inappropriate line. She is the one whose behavior would bother me if I was in your position, but itís not uncommon that people get caught in between two potential love interests without being able to make any immediate, firm decisions and follow through on their choice. Iím not proud to say Iíve found myself in her situation several times in the past, but I donít think it makes either her or your FFWB so despicable that it should play a role in your considerations of whether you want him to continue to be part of your life.

You are well aware of how I feel about religion, and one of the main reasons I vigilantly avoid religious people is because I hate the way they assume that everything they believe is 100% correct and that anyone who disagrees with them on any point is not just wrong, but intellectually and morally inferior. I have yet to encounter a religion that doesnít encourage its followers to assume that they are right in everything they believe and that everyone who sees things differently is blind and ignorant. Because of this attitude on the part of religion and religious followers, the world has a long history of war, genocide, torture, and prejudiceÖand on a smaller scale, the vast majority of ignorance, hatred, and discrimination Iíve seen and learned about has stemmed from religious differences. Because of this and the moral intolerance and hypocrisy religion inculcates in its believers, Iíve made a concerted effort to limit my relationships and friendships to those who donít subscribe to what I consider to be ridiculous and illogical religious belief systems. Both because I save my intellectual respect for people who view the world through a lens of reason and logic and because Iíve found atheists and agnostics to be more accepting than religious people, Iíve been very firm about avoiding all but a select few unusually tolerant, open-minded, and intelligent religious people as friends and boyfriends.

This choice has served me extremely well throughout my life, because with very few exceptions (all involving girls who were more religious than I would have liked), Iíve had no relationships with people who were selfish, disrespectful, insincere, hypocritical, judgmental, dishonest. I consider myself very fortunate never to have had a boyfriend deceive me or hurt me or to part with any as anything other than friends with a great deal of mutual respect and affection. So, Iíd suggest keeping this in mind when considering whether a potential friend or romantic interest is likely to have a good or bad impact on your life and self-esteem. I really donít think your FFWB has had a positive effect on you, in part because his religious beliefs seem to get in the way of him treating you with respect and consideration. They also seem to play a role in his self-centered way of treating (or more accurately, using) his friends nicely only when he wants or needs something from themÖthis is not the kind of person you need in your life particularly when youíre feeling vulnerable and want friends who will be understanding and supportive no matter what youíre going through. If I were you, I would tell him that youíd prefer to move on with your life without him in itÖall he seems to do is remind you of your ex, make you feel used, disrespected, and discarded. There are good people out there who would never treat their so-called friends in such a selfish, rude mannerÖyouíre a lot more likely to find these friends if you steer clear of religious people, which will also screen out a lot of people with ignorant, bigoted, and backwards political views which donít mesh well with yours. Some of the kindest, most accepting and genuine people Iíve encountered were introduced to me through liberal causes, and working for such causes allowed me both to meet great, caring, intelligent people AND simultaneously fight to save this country from the increasingly radical fundamentalist, hate-fueled, intolerant, repressive, bigoted extreme right-wing controlled society and political system.

You could feel good about yourself trying to save women, minorities, children, and our environment from being marginalized and subordinated and at the same time, I bet youíd be able to make some really wonderful friends who share your views and priorities if you looked into volunteering for environmental, anti-poverty, or womenís rights groups (especially those which battle domestic violence, combat evil anti-choice/anti-womenís rights fanatics, supporters of better health care and education for women and families, etc.). You could definitely hold your head up high if you got involved in important causes, were able to reach out and make a difference, and also meet accepting and caring people who arenít afraid of emotional intimacy and forming loving and open relationships with people outside their families and religious circles. Anyway, the best advice I can give you is to avoid intolerant, conservative religious nuts like your ex and seek out relationships with people who are his polar opposites in terms of their views and outlook towards people who arenít exactly like them. What do your instincts tell you to do about your FFWB? Would you be happier and more optimistic with or without him in your life?
Hi Nini, I think Soulsterís insightful post could not be more accurate and that she has stumbled across a really key point you seem to be missing in your memories and conception of your ex which Iíve been trying to precisely pin down and put my finger on ever since I first heard all the details of your story. I have often wondered why time and time again, you mention your ex in every single post in which you describe how you are feeling about things. You seem to see him as the embodiment of all the qualities you have longed for so long in both friends and a lover even though he quite frankly seems to lack much of any desirable traits. He was pathetically and pitifully insecure, hypocritical, judgmental, delusional, selfish, self-absorbed, mean, insensitive, uncaring, borderline abusive when deep down heís a weak and insecure man who spends his life either manipulating and making nice women miserable or letting some aggressive woman dominate and manipulate him. I really donít understand how you can associate him with everything good about love and friendship when in actuality he lacked just about every commendable quality weíd look for in a person we care for deeply. But I wonder if your deep-seated sadness and heartbreak over what your ex represented is not in spite of all his failings as we've tended to assume, but instead precisely BECAUSE he represented all your hopes for men and love yet ended up disappointing both of your ideals in this respect so completely and irrepairably.

No wonder you feel angry and frustrated that things worked out the way they did with your ex--could it be at least in part because he represented your hopes and let both you and himself down in ways too deep and complex for you to have fully considered and acknowledged up until this point? You associate your ex with all the wonderful qualities you dreamed of in your ideal man, yet he ended up failing to live up to each and every admirable trait you envisioned him possessing and every standard of decency and consideration you held him up to. No wonder you still have such a hard time admitting and accepting what a compete failure that he and by proxy, your hopes for your ideal man, has become in turning his back, one by one, on all his professed rigid and impossibly strict ideals. I can understand why having such a man in your past has made you extremely frustrated, angry, and bitter at the human race in general, for he seems to have disappointed you and failed to live up to your vision of him just as other people youíve known have consistently let you down and failed to fulfill your expectations of how decent, caring people should treat the people who play important roles in their lives.

As I mentioned in my other post to you from this evening, one thing I am extremely pleased to see is no comments along the lines that you ex had the potential to be your dream man and build a wonderfully fulfilling, lifelong partnership and family with you, but that you somehow blew it. I really, really hope you can see just how backwards you had things when you advanced that assertion: you are not the one who failed in your responsibility as a decent, loving person. On the contrary, you did everything within your power to be kind, understanding, caring, and forgiving towards him while all he did was let you down time and time again by failing to live up to the standards you envisaged for a loving boyfriend and also falling short of the ridiculously rigid, hypocritical standards he set for himself. His bitterness and disappointment at his own failures and shortcomings clearly made him an angry, miserable, self-loathing man who vented his frustration and rage at the only nearby target, who just happened to be an incredibly loving, sensitive, and emotionally vulnerable woman who would have great difficulty ever recovering from the disrespectful and shameful treatment he showed you. Now instead of his insecurity and self-loathing manifesting itself as cruel intolerance toward you, who was kind, patient, and forgiving enough to put up with it, it vents itself as masochism as he allows himself to be constantly bullied, manipulated, and humiliated by his domineering, overbearing wife.

Please try to look at this man objectively, as an entity separate from all the sadness and disappointment with which he is inextricably intertwined in your mind: you torment yourself by imagining that he has a happy, ideal family life these days, but in all likelihood, he is every bit as miserable and insecure as ever. Weíre talking about a man who tormented you and himself by holding your relationship up to some ludicrously rigid standard which he must realize he has failed to live up to in the most hypocritical and pathetically cowardly way imaginable. All his lofty ideals have been tossed aside and for what? A life of being bossed around, disrespected, and emasculated by a mean woman? It sounds like his dysfunctional, unhealthy childhood gave him only the most warped and despicable model of adult relationships to follow: either he needs to be in the role of the cruel, selfish abuser his father took, as he was with you, or he has to conform to the self-loathing, cowardly victim role his long-suffering, spineless mother played throughout his formative years. Honestly, he sounds like a really screwed up, pitiful, and miserable human being who would have made your life even more miserable than itís been without him if you allowed him to keep methodically chiseling away at your self-esteem and self-respect through his rude, disrespectful, and increasingly abusive and dismissive treatment of you. And now he is playing that same role by letting his wife trample all over whatever dignity and self-respect he once possessed, undoubtedly filled with disappointment and self-loathiing over how much he has compromised and outright failed to uphold the ideals he always upheld with such an exaggerated sense of self-importance along with a healthy dose of condescension and contempt for anyone who didnít agree.

Just imagine how miserable he is now that he has turned all that vicious, impassioned loathing on himself for being a spineless hypocrite and abandoning all his ideals only to ordered around and humiliated on a daily basis by an outspoken, domineering elephant. Now he has become the kind of cowardly, hypocritical, weak and spineless man he always overcompensated in an effort to avoid becoming becomeÖNini, I donít care how unhappy and unfulfilled you are in your life, I think your ex is even more miserable and tormented by self-hatred than you an imagine, and I really hope you stop subscribing to the ridiculous idea that heís living a happy, fulfilling, and satisfying life now that heís moved on without you. You are better off alone than he is letting some elephant trample all over his masculinity and dignity, and self-worth; I bet he is nothing more today than a broken shell of a man with little concept of what a healthy, empowering relationship would feel like, and even less memory of what it was like to have any dignity, ideals, and confidence. As hard as this might be for you to conceive, I have little doubt that you came out with the better end of the bargain following your split, as it is always better to at least be free and unattached rather than have your self-worth ground further and further into the dust each and every day by a domineering woman who humiliates and emasculates him at every turn. Considering what a big fuss he made over his rigid and radical religious and societal ideals, he must be absolutely ashamed to be crawling around kissing an elephantís butt as he veers further and further off the course of the beliefs he made such a pretense of adhering to at all costs. Nini, this man never had any healthy models of how a mature and equal adult relationship should be conducted; the only relationships he knows are those in which one partner systematically crushes the otherís dignity, self-respect, and any resistance whatsoever.

You did not blow your once chance at happiness by not ending up as his wife; if anything, I firmly believe that you saved yourself from a life of abuse, repression, and humiliation he would have inflicted on you if he had the confidence to play the domineering, rather than the masochistic and submissive role he so admired in his long-suffering, victimized martyr of a mother throughout his formative years. Today you are a strong, empowered, independently successful woman while he is a broken, pitiful man enveloped more each day with contempt for the man he has become despite all his desperate attempts to overcompensate by veering so far in the opposite direction before settling into the role of the helpless, pathetic martyr he always so valued, cherished, and respected in his mother. You are so much better off than he is; I have always known that intuitively but it is only after reading Soulsterís perceptive and incisive assessment that I have been able to pinpoint the specifics of how his life became so miserable and veered so far off the extreme, backwards, and traditional course he always clung to with such desperation. Please read and carefully absorb soulsterís wise counsel and along with your past posts and all the advice youíve received from other posters and give serious consideration to whether what I have said could perhaps incude many kernals of truthÖI think you know deep down your ex must be miserable and humiliated that his life has deviated so drastically from the ideals he used to cling to so stubbornly with more than a hint of desperation and overcompensation.





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