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Yawn between two lovers?

Dear Anon:

I hope your solid, shoot from the hip advice can help me. I have been seeing a psychologist and pyschiatrist regarding the below for two years.

Lets call the two men Man Number One and Man Number Two.

Last year I broke up with a man (Man Number One) who I had been living with for six years. It was the hardest thing I had done because I loved him deeply but knew it wasn't going anywhere. Our values were different. He wouldn't work, was atheist, ran around, partied all the time, and was emotionally unavailable.

Why did I stay? I had the typical female thinking "I COULD CHANGE HIM." Well I couldn't and I wasted six years trying to do so. As a result, I was devastated from wasting so much time.

I terminated the relationship on my 27th birthday when I realized, Hey I ain't getting any younger. I haven't been married and I haven't had children. I wanted to grow up and he didn't.

I met a man during the last year we were together (Man Number Two) and was the total opposite of the man I was trying to change. He was everything I wanted. He worked hard, was spiritual, responsible, wanted a family, very sensitive etc...

I immediately started a relationship with him (bad idea) but I wasn't emotionally over my ex (Man Number One).

I explained that I needed time to Man Number Two and I explained that I didn't want to commit because I wanted to be free for a while.

I casually dated men during this time, including Man Number Two. He knew what I was doing the whole time and agreed to the situation. I was totally honest. He knew I needed to mourn the old relationship and be free for a while, but Man Number Two insisted he wanted to wait for me.

He dated a few times but he kept telling me he loved me and wanted me. After one year, I realized that I wanted to commit to Man Number Two, because he had the majority of qualities that I wanted in a man and husband.

I was ready to begin a new relationship but wanted it to move slowly. I was scared to get deeply involved again but was willing to try. It has been a year now and I have not lied once to this man. I have never cheated on him and have been honest and devoted.

This man who I thought was so wonderful all of a sudden is showing rather unfavourable qualities. Man Number Two, although meeting 90 percent of my needs, is insanely jealous. He is insanely insecure.

He says it is because I made him wait so long to get over the man from my six year relaionship. I have done nothing but include this man in my life since I committed to him. He is so jealous that I cannot wear certain clothing. He demands that I call him at specific times so he knows where I am.

If we do not have sex on a regular schedule he freaks out that I must be with someone else (Man Number One). He needs constant reassurance that I am committed to him. He is extremely controlling and I am extremely liberated and independent.

I feel like my dream man has turned into my worst nightmare! We started group therapy today and I don't know how I feel about this now. I am 28 years old. I keep telling him I am committed to him but he won't stop seeing me as the free person who is casually dating and not over my ex.

Lately, his jealousy has been turning borderline violent and emotionally abusive. Like pushing me into walls, screaming in my face, and accusing me of sleeping around all the time. We started therapy today together.

Am I just wasting my time again trying to change somebody? I would appreciate your advice!

Dear Martina

I do have a certain sympathy with Man Number Two; you have kept him on a string, and while you say you've committed to him, you also witter on about being a 'free person'; to that extent, you remind me of a one-time partner of mine who could never say "WE" - Can you?

While I fear you are 'bringing out the worst' in him - that 'worst' was there before - and would have probably surfaced one day.

You do not say whose idea the therapy was - if it was a genuinely shared decision, I wish you luck, and do give it a chance. It will give you - both of you - the chance to see what you have in common - and help you to stop worrying about your differences.

If either of you pushed the other into it, it is unlikely to work, as you'll tend to focus on the differences.

You need to reassess him - Man Number Two - is he really 90% of what you want? Because 90% is pretty good going!

You need to reassess yourself, too. Are you still attached to Man Number One? Why? You'll never move on until you face this obsession.

You need to examine your motives. In one note, you told me your age twice. Are you so frightened of age? Or frightened of not having an 'Insurance Policy' for when the 'freedom' gets boring? Men are often stupid, but sooner or later, they notice when their role is no more than a Credit Card Holder.

You say you wanted to grow up and have children - but you've avoided real committment.

Time to face the truth - about you, as well as them.

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