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I agree with Realguy about your ex, Nini--I have a lot of trouble believing being with him was that awesome and amazing and wonderful because from what you've said, it sounded like he didn't even come close to treating you with consistent love and respect. I wish I could somehow let you into my memories so you could see what differentiates true, unconditional love between equal partners from the kind of unhealthy love your ex was capable of providing. I always felt weird and strange--other girls regarded me like an alien for being so assertive and forceful, having not yet realized that most men who don't have major control or anger issues are happier taking it easy and letting the woman run most everything her way in order to keep the peace and enjoy all the benefits of her strong desires and fierce determination to get what she wants between the sheets. Now that I'm older and have had a chance to observe other relationships, it never fails to baffle me when a woman DOESN'T seize control from the start of a relationship and set clear boundaries that her man knows better than to even try to cross. Girls who saw me as overbearing and mean for being extremely demanding in my relationships seemed really confused and resentful over the fact that they bent over backwards to be just what their men wanted and to keep their men happy, yet dealt with a lot of blatant lying, cheating, rudeness, and other blatant disrespect while my partners always treated me with adoration, kindness, affection, and respect. One very pretty, smart, and nice girl even went after three of my boyfriends right after I left each one, I guess figuring she already knew they were wonderful and devoted boyfriends, but my exes complained to me that she lacked self esteem and was much too accomodating and flexible when they each repeatedly came back to me looking for another chance or at least some side action. It never occurred to me to consider settling for less, and while in retrospect I feel fortunate to have enjoyed a number of fulfilling, nurturing love affairs, I don't think that luck had that much to do with it. I really think that men want to be with a woman who knows her worth, knows what she wants, and has the confidence and assertiveness to demand nothing less and never allow anyone to sell her short. The vast majority of the men I've known, befriended, dated, and/or hooked up with have been thrilled to find a woman who would take charge in and out of bed (as long as she doesn't emasculate him in front of other people or try to take away his freedom to do the things he loves), and the few who haven't would have made horrible, abusive and completely untrustworthy boyfriends. I love and admire men and certainly don't mean to be sexist here, but I feel very lucky to be a straight woman, as I've always found dealing with men to be vastly simpler, much more straightforward, and considerably less treacherous than if I had to navigate the minefield of romantic relationships with women :eek:.

While I know you have reason not to fully agree with this, Nini, except for in cases of abusive or otherwise disturbed people who torment others indiscriminately, people really do treat others as well as they believe (AND DEMAND!!) that they should be treated. That's why it really saddens and concerns me whenever I read comments from you that glorify, excuse, and/or defend your ex's behavior, especially toward you or statements that place the blame for that failed relationship and your unhappiness squarely on yourself for not being able to save your relationship with your ex. Do you really think anyone can imagine that you, loving your ex as wholeheartedly and conditionally as you loved him, didn't do her very best and try everything in her power to make that relationship work? I also find it impossible to believe that you were all really that objectively happy (I'm not talking about being happy relative to your other life experiences, which is an intrinsic part of the experience of one's first love) with a man who treated you the way your ex did. You had to know that everyone deserves better than a lover who tells you he loves you then takes it back when you say those words back to him, who displays no qualms about chastising, criticizing, or outright yelling at you in front of friends, who relentlessly tries to tear apart your confidence in your musical talent, which he had to know was one of the things that mattered most to you, who attempts to break up with you repeatedly and only grudgingly takes you back after you plead with him, who doesn't seem to respect or even consider your feelings while he ogles other girls and talks open about his sexual desire for them, and who makes you feel like a horrible, immoral, unworthy, dirty, and trashy influence on him whenever you didn't fully (and sufficiently enthusiastically) agree with all of his ridiculously rigid, uptight, judgmental, oppressive, misogynistic, and generally despicable opinions.

Please keep in mind that everyone's first real love seems perfect and destined, but that's almost always because the people involved have no basis for comparison and are experiencing the magic of first love, which is the belief that it will never end. So much so in fact that even though I could not get along with my first love to save my life, there were many times when I believed we'd spend our lives together...actually, it's still important to me that he be a part of my life, but no one who knew us then could understand how we didn't kill each other all the time we were together except when we weren't sneaking off all over school to fool around. The first love thing was so powerful to me that even while I was pulling away from our relationship toward the end and starting to socialize and experiment sexually with other people, I didn't leave him officially until another man and I were totally head over heels in love. I don't think I would remember that first love affair, despite all its intensity, passion, and how close we were deep down, very fondly or nearly as wistfully and tenderly if he hadn't been the first man with whom I really truly fell in love. I think the fact that your ex was your first (and only) love definitely plays a role in why your memories are so glowing and happy, along with distance having blurred out a lot of the day to day, neither wonderful nor awful times you must have spent wondering how he could repeatedly try to dump you, not demonstrate much interest in being around you, being negative or critical toward you, and generally not acting as kind and loving as a man who is mature enough for and committed to a serious romantic relationship should act toward his lover.

Please don't misunderstand me here and think I'm out to bash your ex and ruin all your good memories of that relationship (though I do think you need to take a good hard look at whether these times were really so precious and wonderful, along with whether they are helping or hindering you to be happy in the present). I do think that your recollections seem quite skewed in favor of your ex, though I know that numerous examples of his bad behavior toward you are still etched vividly in your mind. I also think there is a great deal of truth to what Opie said in one of her latest posts about the large amount of energy you expend denying that any of the advice offered you is worthwhile and/or feasible compared with the very small amount of energy you devote to carefully weighing and considering the plethora of suggestions that pile into each of your threads and expressing optimism or positivity about the future. If you redirected all the effort you expend defending yourself and your past experiences, particularly your ex, against any suggestions (which you almost invariably summarily reject) to help you feel more optimistic and positive about your life and your future. It just doesn't seem to me that it's benefiting you in any way to put so much effort into detailing how great things were with your ex and how awful life is without him or explaining that all of your experiences have taken such a toll that you can't do more than what you've already tried in order to try and be happy. Just as he factored into nearly every aspect of this response to you, your ex is such a major component in your assessment of your present and future prospects for a content and gratifying life that I think changing the way you think about him (at least breaking the obsessive feedback loop which is keeping you tormented and treading water ever since you heard about the marriage, but ideally I'm talking about being able to put him more and more out of your mind and confine him completely to your past) is an essential, unavoidable step in making progress toward feeling less unhappy and hopeless. If you still see having been with him and lost him as the major obstacle standing in the way of moving on and being happy, then I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of therapy intended to break your cycle of obsession over your ex as unlikely to help and not worth the time and expense. I am sorry to be so blunt; I am just really concerned that your interpretation of the issues and obstacles you face is influenced more by wishful thinking and the force of habit than by reality. For the sake of your happiness and future, we are trying to help you see how paralyzing and debilitating this fixation has become and make you understand that you need to fight this with any and all possible means. Please Nini, just reconsider what we've been saying without dismissing it with your usual one is trying to be mean or unsympathetic, but I'm worried that you're not really listening to us and giving our advice fair and careful consideration, and I truly hope you rethink that approach for your own benefit and happiness.
[QUOTE=goody2shuz]Nini ~ Goody just wanted to bump this up and tell you how I have noticed a change in you since you have your mouth loaded with gumdrops :D I mean it.....there is such positive energy flowing from you today I can sense it and it has me smiling and rejoicing with you.

What is it, Nini??? What is this change I sense in you??? I am afraid to notice it but also afraid not to!!! I just wanted to tell you that it is wonderful to see and even though it may not be such a big thing to you, it is for me.

Goody, goody gumdrops!!! Thanks for making Goody's day :bouncing:

((((HUGS)))) and an A+ for effort ~ Goody :angel:[/QUOTE]

Hey Goody! :wave: Well, thanks, though I'm not sure you'd say that if you knew all I've been doing the last 24 hours, but I really don't know. I'm still really tired, still have a headache that won't go away, still cried my eyes out last night, but I think I'm going through an angry period. I have decided to severely limit any more contact with the mutual friend, not that that's even moot now because I haven't heard from him since the party. It just infuriated me sooooooo much that when I asked him if X had wimped out, and he said well, he thought it would cause conflict with the TTE but he was positive, had a good positive attitude. Oh, that just burned me UP!!! :mad: :mad: I may have said this before, but it's just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, her getting pissed off about his going to his oldest friend's and best man's birthday party because some little piece of a$$ he sport banged for a while 8 years ago was going to be there. It's just the same old story, it happens every single time I get involved with a group of people in any capacity, there's always some a-hole who bi***es, pi$$es and moans and hissies until I'm out of the picture. All I tried to do was to get some answers and some closure for myself for a difficult situation that caused me a great deal of pain, and I'm not even allowed to do that. I'm sick and tired of always having to be the only one who has to be the adult, the bigger person. The mutual friend felt he had to sit me down and lecture me about getting past it and I need to get over it and just come to the party and get to a point where I can be in a room with him and not hurt or freak out or whatever, and I stepped up and faced it, as hard as it was, as much as I was shaking when I walked in there, but where's the TTE's lecture about how she needs to get over it and trust her husband and know that I'm not some Glen Close Fatal Attraction loony tune who wants to boil her kid's bunny?? I could understand her attitude if I had been someone her husband ever really loved or felt anything real for, but the situation being what it is, it's just stupid and wrong. I'm just really mad right now. Plus, like I said before, that Charlize Theron movie I saw really got under my skin. All that "men have their place, women have theirs" crap just reminded me of what a chauvanist pig my ex could be, telling me what women were and weren't supposed to want to be and do. Like it's ok that women get rooked at used car dealers and end up paying anywhere from $500 to $1000 more for the same care that men do, because women have husbands and boyfriends who pay for tires, car repairs, etc. even though he never paid for so much as a tank of gas for me. When I saw this movie and the lengths that these men went to defend this "this is a man's place, you don't belong here" mentality, in the name of Christianity and traditional family values, just made me see how really evil it is. I don't know why God refuses to steer me to a good situation, where I'm welcomed and accepted and valued and respected, why there's always someone who's not happy until I'm kicked down in the dirt, curled up in a ball crying my eyes out, but I know that I deserve better. I made mistakes, but I didn't deserve the crap I endured, and I don't deserve the crap I'm still enduring in this situation. I can't make a bad person care about how much they hurt me if they just don't. I'm slowly working my way to a point where I just don't give a sh** anymore. For the first time since I reconnected with him two years ago, I don't really feel sad about the prospect of never seeing or hearing from the FFWB again. I still feel really lonely and really sad when I think I'll probably never know love, have sex, or ever feel anyone's arms hold me tight again, but I'm just kind of sick of people and their crap right now.
[QUOTE=SophiaM]Nini, I don't think what your ex did is by any means a "typical guy behavior," and I'm sure you know it. The way he treated you was clearly very wrong, no doubt about that. The thing is, men who can behave in an abusive way like he did, are very unlikely to apologize to you and acknowledge what they did wrong. There are women on this board who were severely abused by former husbands or boyfriends, but I don't think many of them got an apology. Because these men don't want to blame themselves, they always blame 'the victim,' to make themselves feel better and not so guilty. It's not good for you to be stuck in this vicious cycle of wanting a closure or apology from someone who is incapable of it, and then feeling bad about yourself for the way he treated you. It was HIS problem and that's it. You did not cause it or deserve it. You have to free yourself of this man, Nini, because he is impacting your present life in a negative way. You have to tell yourself that YOU did NOT cause his cruel behavior and that you indeed deserve and WILL FIND a man who will treat you differently. Oh, and that you will not tolerate similar behavior from any man again. You need to regain your power, Nini. Little by little. By dissociating your own worth and whatever you believe you deserve out of life from that man and how he treated you when you were in a relationship with him. And, no, not all men are like him. Of course not.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Sophia, but I guess that's what makes this so confusing. He wasn't ragingly abusive, and not to everyone. And, in his last post, Realguy says it fact IS my fault that people treat me the way they do and leave, so I must have caused it to some degree, for some reason. The same way I caused the boys to beat me up when I was a kid, the same way I caused the other kids to tell me I was dirty and I stunk in preschool, even though I as clean as anyone else, and every other negative experience I've ever had, it was somehow my fault and my doing. It's exactly his point of view that makes it impossible for me to fully trust that I didn't bring it all on myself somehow. What I consider to be self respect and protecting myself or my point of view, he says is negativity and aggression and etc etc. I just don't know what to make out of this.

What do I want out of men in general? I want them to not hit me with their fists, big, hard pieces of steel or anything else, no matter what I may have said that made them mad, especially when they misunderstood my intentions, I want them to not call me dirty names, I want them to not make fun of or criticize everything from my taste in tv shows to the way I wear my hair or drive, when I say something like "no thanks, I don't drink" and I say it in a nice, polite, positive way, I want them to respect that and not bulldoze over my feelings or opinions. I'm not complaining, I'm not trying to get everyone to feel sorry for my poor, miserable life. I am simply stating the fact that I have never known anything except men who have done these things. Now Realguy says I deserved all this. I don't know how that is helping, but I just don't know anymore.

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