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That's harder to get through than a James Joyce novel. If this is what fills up Dan's e-mail everyday the man is a saint.
Anyway, the LW dodged a bullet, but it was about the third shot; she shouldn't have gotten back together with the guy after the first dumping.
Oh don't worry. Knowing human nature she'll give him a few more shots. He can change! He's for really reals this time.
Synopsis: Long, drawn-out relationship. Both into d/s. Guy wanted threesomes, girl didn't. The end.
Didn't read the letter.
Didn't read Dan's response.
Didn't read any comments.
My answer is DTMFA.
Was I right?
Yes, I did read the whole thing.
The only thing that jumped out at me as being 100% BULLET's failing was "I don't think it's appropriate to keep exes around, as all of mine are long gone and did not contact me throughout the course of this relationship." Danger klaxon. Not everyone feels the same way about exes as you do -- many of us are at least civil, if not actually friendly, with one or more exes with whom we got along well on a personal level but not a relationship level. Who are you to deem that "wrong"? It's actually healthy to remain on good terms with someone post-breakup, depending of course on the cause and the nature of the breakup. Doesn't sound like this is the ex she should start with, but she should definitely re-examine this prejudice on her journey to resolve her jealousy issues. The rest of which do seem mostly reasonable, presuming she's not twisting facts to make herself look better.
If your partner is not nice to you, you should break up.
If you aren't/do not know how to be nice to your partner, you should break up.
If the sex with your partner is bad or way too in/frequent for you, you should break up.
If for any reason either you or your partner tend to feel like shit when you are together, you should break up.
Talk about stuff with your partner.
Be open minded.
Anyway, as to the rest of your letter, I understand that you are trying to make sense of a relationship that frustrated you. It seems to me that you had a partner that manipulated you and was emotionally slippery, and definitely seems to have been emotionally abusive; at the same time, you have a tendency to try to understand everything, both about yourself and him and to make it make sense, which leads to what appears to be almost obsessive analysis of every sentence uttered by either of you. It's a combustible combination.
Here is what I have learned: I have a hamster in my head. When it starts spinning on that wheel, trying to figure out what x meant, or why he said y, but did z, then IT IS TIME FOR ME TO GET OUT, no matter how "good" any- or everything else is. Good relationships don't cause my hamster to spin; mixed signals do. Mixed signals are not good. When you get them, learn to react to the negative ones. React by removing yourself for the source.
Good luck to you.
I’m not parodying this shit ‘less I’m being paid on spec.
Will wait for Hunter to condense this for me.
BULLET: your head is milling over tons of things because the guy checked the boxes for so many areas and you find it difficult (as many of us have and still do) to reconcile that with the fact that there were several deal-breakers.
You recognise that there are still issues you need to get a handle on, and that is a healthy insight.
From a personal perspective it is a bitch that the one that really hit the spot was still not a good enough match to make it work but your challenge is to find a way to let go and work on your own outstanding issues so you are ready for someone with whom it will work.
Please work more on precis ;-)
She supported him financially despite their not being married with the idea that they would have a future together.
He continued to badger her for a sex act (threesome) which she rejected soundly over and over despite some initial waffling.
She blames herself for blowing up in a situation where she was provoked. They disagreed about where to live and how to commute to work. She offered a more than reasonable compromise which he rejected.
He's controlling on the subject of biological children even to the point of hypothetically demanding something that would be seriously detrimental to her health.
In other words, take away the D/s sex, and you've got a terribly ordinary dysfunctional relationship.
She's trying so hard to be cool that she's in therapy seeking a cure for something that's normal and possibly beneficial. In a traditional monogamous relationship, not wanting your husband to go on sleep-aways with other women isn't seen as out of control jealousy. It's seen as common sense. Being in a constant state of baseless suspicion isn't healthy. False accusation isn't healthy, but drawing the line at no more than friendly relationships with women and exes is fair. It sounds like this guy has gaslighted BULLET into thinking there's something wrong with her for ending a relationship where he got all perks and is seen as some sort of prince for putting up with her.
@Cat Brother @32, about this: most math problems are a to b to c, if you’re tearing your hair and using a ton of scratch paper, you’re going about it wrong.
I think I get where you're coming from, but I just can't help jumping in in defense of mathematics and saying: sorry, but when it comes to all the good bits of math, you're dead wrong. In the good bits, you'd better be using up stacks of scratch paper and tearing your hair, or you haven't got a chance in hell. (That said, most people sadly don't get to the good bits of math, so your analogy works perfectly well for them.)
And okay, maybe I'm in a bad mood, and I get that this is the internet and all, but I am finding the omnipresence of "ti;dr" as a legit response to things (not just this letter) a bit irksome. That letter probably wasn't two pages long when printed out. And this is way too long for us to read now?
*head in hands*
Since you kept flogging the dead horse for another year+, neither of you came out looking great, which is not surprising. He does come out looking worse but given that this is just your side of the story, that's not surprising either.
LW this guy sounds like a jerk. You don't want the same things, he doesn't listen to you, and he seems to happy to poke at your soft spots to get the reaction he wants. Listen to your friends he was a bullet and not someone to waste your limited time and energy on.
Again, the best reason why assigning blame in these stories is less important than Ging T FO. The longer you're in a diseased relationship the more you hurt yourself.
I haven't read this letter all the way thru. After reading that she paid for everything, I thought, honey this boy is a tramp.
Also, I'm with ciods on the math. Lovely stuff.
As far as reading long screeds, if the first paragraph, or the narrative voice, is a grabber, I’ll sit there AFD; unlike The Maths, reading’s always been my strong suit. Guess there wasn’t enough in my quick scan of the first couple paragraphs to hold me, maybe more rhinos?
Regardless of what the rest of the letter says, sometimes people who enjoy spending time together are just incompatible relationship-wise. Forcing that relationship to work anyways just causes misery for both people involved. End of story.
Generic @46: Good theory. I also find writing stuff down as a brain dump is helpful. Guess she dumped her brain but still didn't find any answers. Usually, though, websites have editors for this kind of situation.
Ghost @50: #notallmen
Any person who would keep asking--really nagging--for something 26 times should have bitch slapped at least 20 asks ago.
And what @55 and @57 said.
The flip-side advice for men is: If she didn't say "yes," that means "no." Did she say "yes?" No, she didn't, did she? And if you can't decipher what the hell she's talking about, then notice that she didn't do what you asked for. There's your answer. It's "yes" or "other." Do or not do. There is no try. This is not the droid you're looking for.
Does there need to be a difference?
Yup. Breaking up with a partner who wants different things from you is dodging a bullet. For everyone involved.
At least the advice was good. Flip the genders, and all the advice for the LW would've consisted of "You're a terrible person for being jealous--you're not allowed to want monogamy--and you're using your jealousy to abuse your partner."
I'm glad took off his "poly is the only legitimate preference" hat for a little while, though.
Oh Mr E. Mr Predictable E.. No, if the genders were reversed, I doubt many people would be saying the man is terrible for being jealous. Most of us, I assume, know jealousy well. Know what a difficult emotion it is to work thru.
I wonder if the "not yet" was an attempt at a softened "no." That's a mistake, as we see here.
Do you find that people believe you when you say these things? Because you are most certainly trying to say something here beyond what you claim.
Your gimmick is so sad and tiresome.
May you one day be less insecure as to not have to craft fiction to prove a point.
I slogged through the whole letter but it was hard to get through all the comments. I really should do the work they pay me for here...
I hope I'm not being repetitive because I started skimming comments after 30 or so. :)
Manipulative breakups from him attempted control over who he can see from her. Both the LW and ex-BF were being manipulative in this situation. Based on the letter, I'd say he was the worse offender but not by as much as she would like us to believe.
If threesomes turned out to be a core kink (for doms, being denied something can turn it into an obsession) then being denied it made it the MOST IMPORTANT thing of all to him. We really are just 3 year olds.
Basically, my dominant behavior map puts this guy as not deliberately manipulative but as a dom feeling powerless for reasons of financial, control over his partner (threesomes, etc) and even self agency (who he could hang out with). Having been there, it is hard to respond to this in a healthy situation. The worst part of it is that being in that powerless space and believing that if you just try hard enough, that you'll find a mutual path leaves little room for realizing that there is no amount of anything that'll fix the relationship.
I recognize some uncomfortable parallels to a younger monkey in here. I want to believe I wasn't this bad and I'll definitively claim I wasn't but, you know...
Regardless of why he did it, the behaviors described in this letter are toxic to the relationship. These two weren't a good fit and the sooner they recognized it, the better.
One positive thing for the LW, I've found jealousy issues are big when I'm not secure in the relationship. If I don't trust my partner to go get drunk on NRE with someone new they are playing with, I'm gong to be jealous. So, she should keep going to therapy and find a partner that helps her be secure in herself and she may be surprised to find that ex-partners and maybe even threesomes are no big deal. She should, however, cut out the shit of trying to control who her partner can see. That's a manipulative action that is particularly toxic for any relationship.
I can understand the why of his actions. That doesn't make them any less horrible. At the very least, he was exceptionally manipulative and it would be easy to convince me that he was in abuse territory. Especially with those controlling breakups.
"I want this thing."
"I don't want to do this thing."?
"I really want to to do this thing."
" But I don't want to do this thing."
"Will you do this thing?"
"No, I won't do this thing."
"Why won't you do this thing?"
"Because I don't want to do this thing."
"But why not?"
"I just don't. Do I need to give a reason?"
"But I really want to do this thing, so yes, tell me why you don't want to."
"Because it makes me have sex with someone I'm not attracted to--in fact, it makes me have sex with some I'm sexually repulsed by because contrary to the representations in pop culture, not all women are sexually attracted to women; because it forces me to perform a role I don't want to play and have a response I won't really be having so that you can pretend that I feel a way I don't; because it makes me watch as you have sex with someone else, and not only am I not a voyeur, I also struggle with extreme jealousy, and seeing you have sex with another woman right in front of me would devastate me."
"But I want this thing. Please?"
And if it's still confusing to anyone, I think the guy was a dick. Bullet dodged. She should learn to be more clear and concise nevertheless, and break up with people sooner if they are this annoying.
I don't believe that you would stick around for that. I think you'd say "stop asking" after the first "no" wasn't heard, and then you'd leave if that message wasn't received. Is that wrong?
"Can we?" "No."
"Can we?" "No."
"Can we?" "No."
"Can we?" DTMFA. Seriously, unless someone is a complete doormat, that's how it's going to work.
This is very different from what you seem to be describing in your later posts, which is:
"Can we?" "Not yet."
"Can we?" "Probably not."
"Can we?" "Not unless X."
In this situation the asker is receiving an answer other than the unambiguous no. And while they should probably take the damn hint that the askee doesn't want to do it, it's a very different situation from repeated attempts to overturn an unambiguous no. In this case, if the askee means no they should just say no. And the asker should stop bloody asking.
Again, life is complicated but why make your life and someone else's more as well? You'll encounter less problems of you stop telling people what they want to hear and take not now as not now or take yes (but I didn't mean yes) as a sign to divest and date someone who knows what they want out of you / for themselves?
The original point I was trying to make was that "I told him I was no longer comfortable with the subject and did not want to put it on the table" was immediately followed by "at least not anytime soon" which, unsurprisingly, was followed by "he never really stopped talking about it."
Now, it's abundantly clear when you read that whole sentence as she wrote it that it was just never gonna happen. She didn't say "no" unambiguously as in the hypotheticals people are giving. And that's even after she already felt nagged. Then she stuck around for more nagging which I find incomprehensible.
I was assuming the second interpretation because the first one seemed even more bizarre than the second.
If we are talking about repeated questions, to keep on nagging after, say, three "no's", seems unreasonable to me.
I feel for this girl's friends, if their conversations are anything like this letter they must have the patience of glaciers.
And PS the narcissistic ex is still a sorry little playboy who can't maintain a LTR because of the aforementioned, and he still, months later, expresses interest and tries the same ol abusive tactics. My point being that even though he could choose to be a winner and put that shit aside, he's still a LOSER. By choice. I win, by choosing my own happiness over his lame bullshit.
That result is still the opposite of "unsurprisingly." See @90. "At least not anytime soon" should be heard as "Ask again in a few months." "Not anytime soon" means WAIT. He did not WAIT. Any reasonable adult who's been asked to WAIT and does not should realise that that's the easiest way to turn a maybe into a no, which is exactly what happened here. And asking someone to WAIT and having them do the exact opposite is not "what anyone should have expected." It's aberrant, as you recognise, and also stupid, because maybe if he did WAIT like she asked she might have been more amenable.
TL;DR: "If you ask someone to wait, what do you expect?" I expect them to wait.
It's one long string, not 27 questions.
This, very much this. What makes this so hard is that mixed signals and uncertainty are exciting, in the literal sense of the word. It's the same as gambling--it's addictive, and it's easy to get lost in it. The solution is the same--to take the long view--but long views are so hard to take.