Posts Tagged Relationship

Can Partner Lose His Interest in Boys?


I have a partner and we have been together for 15 years. I was 18 when we met and he was 33. Our whole relationship we have struggled with his attraction to younger men. He dated a 16 year old for 6 months when he was 31. We have went to a therapist over it and they have told me that since he has been with me he has not made any advances onto a young boy. But I catch him watching 12 year old boys wrestle, kiss or anything else he can find on youtube. I am not sure what to do. I love him and we have a life together, but this worries me.

A: It should worry you. Being sexually aroused by young boys is not a benign paraphilia. A young person could get hurt. Your partner could land in jail. At 18, you fulfilled his fantasy of being with a young boy – and you were legal. I’m concerned that 15 years later, now that you are clearly an adult, sex with you may not be enough to gratify him.

It is true that as long as someone has strong impulse control, he may never cross the line. However, some of the leading researchers who study pedophilia believe that indulging in watching such videos is a slippery slope. It encourages an objectification of young boys and reduces the older person’s ability to empathize with what they might feel if he approached them. Further, being with a lover is not a reliable deterrent for inappropriate or illegal sexual activity.

It’s not enough to hope that because he’s with you, he won’t act on his impulses. It’s important that he has a clear plan for staying on the right side of the line. That includes having empathy for children, having a well articulated plan for keeping children and himself safe, and being clear that he does have control over his choices. If that hasn’t been talked about specifically in therapy, it should be. If the therapist isn’t comfortable with a frank and detailed conversation about it, please find a therapist with expertise in the issue.

People do have control over their proclivities. But they have to be committed to it. I hope your partner is being honest with himself and with you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Do I Have an Issue?


Hi, I’m 14. I’ve been in high school for about a year now. I started becoming very very lonely. I used to go out with my “friends”. Now I stay home every single day & it’s summer. I sometimes cry myself to sleep because I feel so unwanted! My parents are divorce, I live with my dad & my dad HATES my mom. I haven’t seen my mom in 4 years. Witch probably makes me so emotional. I sometimes even cry because I don’t think I feel love or understood by anyone. I don’t like talking a bout my feelings to people because I feel unwanted, I feel like they won’t care. I keep so much to myself. It brakes me. I believe my dad is Bi-Polar & has anger issues, witch could be a reason why I get mad very easy. I hate my body so much! I’m fat! Im very insecure. I have so much emotion in me. I’m always sad, I could be happy for one minute then back to sad. I also sleep my whole day away.

A. It seems as though you may be experiencing symptoms of depression. You have negative thoughts, you don’t feel good about yourself and you are withdrawing from friends and family. Your feelings may be related to the breakup of your parents’ marriage or their contentious relationship. They may be so focused on battling each other that they are neglecting your emotional needs.

Another aspect of this problem is that you have been without your mother for four years. It is unclear why you have not seen your mother for such a long time but this likely is contributing to your problems.

I would strongly advise you to speak to your father or other members of your family about the possibility of professional help. Don’t ignore these problems. Your symptoms need to be addressed. It seems as though your father is currently unable to meet your emotional needs and if that is the case, then you should seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist can assist you in developing coping skills and the processing of your feelings in a psychologically healthy way.

If you feel uncomfortable approaching your father about this issue, then as soon as school begins next month, speak to a guidance counselor. The guidance counselor could assist you in addressing these problems or refer you to a mental health professional.

In the meantime, force yourself to be in the presence of others. That may not be easy but do it anyway. The less that you are isolated, the better. Isolation increases the likelihood of negative feelings. I would also encourage you to begin writing in a journal. A journal could be helpful in a number of ways including being a release for your emotions and documenting your symptoms. When and if you have the opportunity to meet with a mental health professional, having those notes from your journal could greatly assist the therapist in determining what might be wrong. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Is Boyfriend Stringing Me Along?


Okay, so I’ve been talking to this boy for about 2 months now and as far as I was concerned everything was perfect. He’s totally successful, smart, funny, and everything I’m attracted to in a guy. Not to mention, the attraction is completely equal on both our parts. We’ve texted every day since we met, and even though we live 45 minutes away from each other, he still makes time to come see me at least once a week.

Lately, however, I’ve been feeling really confused. His text messages are a lot shorter, and usually consist of 1-3 texts between the two of us. I’m not the girl to blow up a guys phone, so normally I just let it go and wait for his text the next day or whenever he decides to talk to me again. It sounds pathetic on my part, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of nothing when it could be just him being a crap texter. Anyways, these past two weeks he’s still been texting me every day but sometimes when I respond to his text message…he’ll just drop off the face of the earth. He won’t respond to me at all, and I won’t even hear from him till the next day.

He also hasn’t made the effort to come see me at ALL in the past 2 weeks…I’m confused as to why he’s even wasting his time texting me if all he’s not even interested in actually talking to me. Is he stringing me along? We’ve already had sex and I think that’s why I’m getting myself so worked up about this….hopefully someone can solve the pieces to my puzzle here because it’s driving me INSANE.

A: During the first couple of months of dating, most new couples are obsessed with each other. Once that first blush of romance is over, a more realistic rhythm for the relationship sets in. You say this man is successful. That means he puts time and energy and focus into his work. He can’t do that and be totally available to you. For that matter, you can’t be successful at your work either if you are texting all the time.

It’s not at all unreasonable for adults who have careers and interests to only text or talk to each other once a day or to see each other once a week (as an example). What is unreasonable is not talking about what is reasonable.

You and your guy need to have a clear conversation about where this relationship is going and what you need from each other. What you see as only keeping contact may be making him feel crowded. What he sees as reasonable contact is, quoting you, “driving you insane.” There’s no right number of texts or talks or dates needed to make a relationship work. What is needed is an agreement that is comfortable for both of you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Commitment-Phobic?


I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 months…One month of which was when he broke up with me in late March and we got back together in late April.
When I first met him, he said something along the lines of “Girls are LUCKY if they ever meet my friends and family.” I didn’t give much thought to it, because I thought, well, maybe he’s just saying that.
When we broke up in March, he dumped me saying I had too many demands and he couldn’t provide the love that I needed. When we got back together in late April, it turned out that he said he did a lot of thinking and couldn’t let me go because he “saw me in his future.” Still in love with him, I got back together with him.
Well, one day, I was cleaning his room (which I HAVE NEVER done for another man in my life ever before–I wanted to show him how special he is) and I noticed two hairpins on his end table that were not mine. I also noticed that the condoms he said “he ran out and bought because he was afraid of getting me pregnant while I started the birth control pills” were suddenly gone from the windowsill where they were a week ago…..I hate to say it, but 2 months into our relationship, we weren’t using condoms, and we still aren’t. (I got tested last week and am clear…but now I’m rethinking the non condom thing…stupid..I know).
So, my suspicions started. The next week, alone in his room (He lets me stay alone and sleep in in his apartment when we go out sun night, or a week night while he works–I have a weird not-too-typical schedule). So, I snooped. Yes. I did:( And, in a suitcase he uses as extra storage for his clothes, I found the clinic condoms that had been taken from the windowsill along with a box of Trojans (a ten count box) with only 4 condoms left. There was also an empty Trojan wrapper in with the rest of the condoms. Along with that, were my earrings and panties I had left a week before. Keep in mind, we have not used a condom since March, and before we got back together in April he moved from one apartment to a new one. Next, yes, snooped again:(, I checked his wallet (He didn’t bring it to work with him–just cash in his pocket). In his wallet was a condom and a card to an escort in the area he lives.
The following week when he got up to use the bathroom, I looked back in the wallet, and I noticed an additional condom put into the wallet (one was missing from the pocket in the suitcase) and the escort card was gone. I confronted him about all the condoms, and the wrapper, but I never mentioned the escort card–I still don’t know why I didn’t.
His explanations were: “Those were old clinic condoms I put back in there that we were gonna use.” Then he said the box was old and he just found it recently. When I pressed him about the condom wrapper, he said it was old. I said “Then why is the lube wet in it?” He finally said, in April, before we got back together, that he slept with a one night stand from a bar, and that must be the wrapper from the one night stand. He said silicone lube can stay wet if enclosed in a dark suitcase. True. I called the condom company, and they confirmed it can happen if its in a dark place:( yes, I know, already, sounds like I don’t trust him. When I asked about the wallet, he said that he carries condoms in his wallet because his brother who suffers from schizophrenia (paranoid type) checks his wallet to see if he has condoms every time he visits him to make sure that he is protected during sex because if he doesn’t he’ll tell the mother and the mother will get angry because he already got a girl pregnant. (I also know about his son and his sons mom–he visits every Friday, sometimes fri and sat). I said, “well doesn’t your brother know we do it at your place, and you’re with me?” He said, “He doesn’t believe things he cannot see.”
Okay, so that’s that part of it. Now, he won’t introduce me to his family because he says that it has to be over a year until I meet them. he says he won’t introduce me to his friends because, well, before we got back together in April, he said I needed “tweaking” I told him to accept me like I am or not, and then he stopped saying that when we got back together. Then he said his friends are busy all the time, and now he says I can’t meet them, because his friends are “stupid.” Okay, so we go on dates, but since we’ve been arguing about these issues, he rarely initiates calling me/texting me–unless I ask repeatedly. He says its because, every time I have seen him in the past two months, we have had a disagreement.
When I have confronted him, he says he does this with every girlfriend he has been with–it takes a while to meet ppl he knows.
I feel confused. The not calling, texting, and the random circumstantial evidence in his room–is it cheating? Or is it just typical guy forgetfulness sloppiness and distance from fighting too much?
And not introducing….does he really do this with everyone, or is it just with me? because I’m embarrassing, or a dirty little secret on the side? Please help! My last long term relationship was highly physically abusive (he knows this) and I just want a loving fulfilled one. Although, I still have extreme anxiety–I’m not perfect at all, either.

A: Hmmm – Let’s review: Hairpins that are not yours, condoms you aren’t using are missing, new condoms have been used and the wrapper for one is there, he is with his ex every Friday when he visits his son, and keeps a rubber in his wallet to keep his brother happy. Won’t introduce you to his friends or family and rarely calls or texts you.

What is it you love about this guy?

The bottom line is you just want a loving, fulfilled relationship. Without assuming he will change one bit — can you tolerate everything the way it is? If not, it is time to give him his walking papers.

But if you can tolerate it, a couples counselor may be necessary to help with the issues. The find help tab at the top of this page can help you find one in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Pregnant and Husband is Nonsupportive


Ever since my husband and I got married, I have been very unhappy in this relationship. I feel like I’m married to a teenage boy who is used to getting his way without giving anything back (he is an only child and was raised in a very permissive environment). I could go on about all the details of his controlling, manipulative, often times verbally abusive behavior, but I just want to give some background o f my current problem.

Although he has had a job throughout the majority of our marriage, In 6 years I have had to deal with him deciding to embark on a new career path 5 times; and in every instance,a great deal of money is required for things like the training or the equipment necessary. He basically becomes obsessed with his new endeavors, dedicating all his time and energy to them while neglecting any responsibilities and his current job. I have expressed how emotionally straining each new venture is on me, and he always promises that “this is the last time”. However, He always abandons these projects as quickly as he takes them on. A few months later, he will find something else to spark his interest and it starts all over again.

He has no shame in demanding more money and my undying support with absolutely no consideration of my feelings. I feel that he is not living up to his job as a husband, father and a supporter of his family by not providing us with stability and a steady source of income. He is constantly pointing the finger back at me when I protest to the unfairness of the situation, insinuating that I am a loser because he believes I’ve never worked or had a “real job” .

I have provided us with a great deal of financial support from the assets my mother left me when she died. I have sold almost all of the property, annuities and stock she left me (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars) to support us. Much of this money has gone to vacations and lots of “toys” that he wanted, such as a boat, expensive photography equipment, and a pickup truck, just to name a few. Although he never has had a problem spending this money, he continually points out that I did not actually work for it and am therefore still not contributing my share to the marriage by not always having a job.

I have worked on and off since we’ve been married, but the time I have spent not working has been at home taking care of our daughter. Even since she was born, I went back to work as a high school Spanish teacher. He was not at all supportive during this time, telling me that I was neglecting my family when I would stay after school school late or work on weekends to complete a teacher’s never ending tasks of lesson planning and grading papers.

I’m 35 weeks pregnant and am just about at my rope’s end as the arrival of our son nears. We moved to another city a few months ago after I sold a house I inherited from my mother; the sale enabled us to buy a new house and have a good chunk of cash left over. This money was meant to be a crutch while he looked for jobs and worked on the new travel business that he bought into in December. However, in 5 months, he has not spent a full hour searching for jobs, does nothing to help around the house, and has completely abandonded the travel business.- I have done the bulk of unpacking, most everything is still in boxes from the move. I have asked him repeatedly for help, especially because I am having a rough pregnancy with lots of back pain, so I am not physically capable of doing every bit of the housework. Yet he continues to ignore any housework and my requests for him to do specific tasks.

When he is not napping, which is quite often, he watches tv, reads, or plays on the internet. Any time not spent on these activities is spent on his newest endeavor – he wants to become a pilot! Of course, there is a costly training involved that will come out of the money from the sale of the house. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that we had agreed a good portion of this money would go toward the kids’ college funds. I became furious at his audacity to do this yet again, right before our son is to be born. I tried to compromise with him by agreeing to that he begin the training program after he gets a job and works for a while, just to make sure this is exactly what he wants to do. This is not acceptable to him, it has to be now. I finally broke down and agreed because he wouldn’t leave me alone about it, not even letting me sleep at night! So, the only time he does anything productive is when he goes to flying lessons at over $100 a pop.

The money is running quickly out and I just don’t know what to do now. Because my daughter was a csection birth, I will be having another when this baby comes. I know I am going to need to rely on him to help, as I am going to need to heal from the surgery. I won’t be able to do a lot of things, including picking up our 3 year old daughter! But at this rate, I feel like I can only count on him to contribute to the piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and trash he currently leaves me to deal with. Believe me, I know that we need serious help from a counselor if this marriage is going to work, but there’s only a few short weeks left before the baby comes. I need his help now! What do I do???

A: I’m so sorry you are in this situation – especially at a time when you are feeling particularly vulnerable. By your description, you are not married to a man. You are married to an overgrown teenager. You are expecting adult behavior from someone who sees no reason to be an adult. Why would he? He has been continually rewarded for his immature behavior with money, toys, and the freedom to do what he wants when he wants. It’s a nice life if you can get it. Well, not really. What he doesn’t understand is that he is missing out on the satisfactions of being a successful husband, father, and employee. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

It’s time for you to stop looking at him and to start looking at yourself. You can’t change him. He sees no reason to change. He avoids accountability by not staying with anything. He thinks it works for him. Sadly, you’ve gotten caught up in his game. You’ve always backed down from any limit you’ve set so he has no reason to think you’ll do differently now.

I don’t know what has kept you from being more assertive. If you haven’t been able to figure out how to draw a line and keep it, it’s time for you to get some help. Please find yourself a therapist to help you reclaim your self-esteem and self-respect. Your children need your mothering, not your husband. While you do your personal work, it might also be advisable to consult a lawyer about how to protect your remaining assets. If you do decide to separate, you don’t want to be penniless and dependent for child support on this overgrown child.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship? 5 Steps to Take move out.


In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship? 5 Steps to Take

by YourTango Experts

In an Emotionally Abusive Relationship? 5 Steps to TakeThis guest article from YourTango was written by Julie Orlov.

If you’ve ever been in a controlling relationship, you know how easy it is to get caught in its web. It usually starts out with a simple suggestion like, “Do you think that outfit is the best you can do for the banquet tonight?” or “I think you’re better off ordering the salad,” or “You should get a real job and stop all that nonsense about making it as an artist.”

At first, you take their suggestions as a reflection of their love and concern for you. After all, their comments are not that far off base, and you certainly don’t want to appear unappreciative or defensive. At this stage of the relationship, you want to please your mate, not alienate him or her. It’s more important to appear receptive and understanding of your partner’s opinions than to challenge them.

Some time goes by. You now notice that your significant other’s opinions of you continue to be critical. Only now, there is an emotional undertone that suggests if you don’t abide by his opinion, he will be angry, punitive and emotionally manipulative.

The scariest times come when you believe the threats of rejection and abandonment.

 

The cycle has repeated itself in such a way that somehow, you’ve become sucked in and are believing the rhetoric. Or, at the very least, you’ve been trying to manage the critical outbursts. You’re now so consumed with keeping your partner’s emotional judgments at bay that you have trouble considering if his demands have crossed over into an abusive and inappropriate arena. Your judgment is clouded.1

You continue to ask yourself, Is it me or him? You feel anxious around him, believing that somehow you can make things right again; you want to feel the love you did when the two of you first got together. Deep down, your biggest fear is that his opinions of you are right … that there really is something wrong with you, and you just may not be lovable the way you are.

The bad news? You are now caught in the web. The good news? There is a way out. It is so important to understand what control is really all about. Let me show you the way.

Why Do People Want to Control Others?

Here’s what a person’s controlling behaviors are generally all about:

  • Their own sense of helplessness and powerlessness
  • Getting someone else (like you) to make them feel okay
  • Wanting to hand-off their own anxieties so they don’t have to deal with them themselves
  • Ensuring that you will never abandon or reject them
  • Projecting their deepest fears of being inadequate and unlovable

A person’s controlling behaviors are virtually never about you.

Take Control Back

Here are five steps to getting out from under a person’s control:

1. Get your power back.

The quickest way to do this is to be willing to walk away from the relationship if need be. This enables you to move forward with the next steps from a place of power, not a place of fear.

2. Set limits on his criticism and emotional outbursts.

Let your partner know that you are open to hearing his concerns about your actions and how they impact him, but will no longer engage in conversations that attack who you are as a person.

3. Consider your partner’s concerns.

What are you willing to do for him? What is completely off the table? Make sure you align these requests with your personal well-being and integrity. Don’t agree to do things simply in order to keep the peace or save the relationship, especially if deep down you know it isn’t right for you.

4. Be clear and honest with yourself first, then your partner.

Consider your values, goals and needs. Make sure your decisions are in alignment with your highest self, needs and all. Let him know what you can and can’t do for him. Whatever you do, do not be intimidated. Have a powerful “no” and make it clear that he will need to accept the “no.” If he can’t, then it may be best for the two of you to part ways.

5. Find people and experiences that celebrate who you are.

Find ways to reconnect with the powerful person you truly are, i.e. someone that would never tolerate being treated in such a manner. Engage and connect with other people that support and love you for exactly who you are.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if his controlling behavior is something you are willing to live with or not. Relationships should be something that supports your growth, not something that diminishes it. Love celebrates who you are; it does not put you down. You deserve to have a powerful and loving relationship. So start with yourself. Love yourself enough to take the first step in reclaiming you.

Most couples deal with issues of control; it is a common tension that arises from time to time. However, if you and a loved one are struggling with how to deal with control issues constructively, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help. I want you to have the best possible outcome when it comes to strengthening your relationships.

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Are You In a Healthy Relationship?


Are You In a Healthy Relationship?

by YourTango Experts

Are You In A Healthy Relationship?This guest article from YourTango was written by Susan J. Elliott.

In the years I’ve been counseling and coaching, many people say, “I know I’ve been in sick relationships, but I don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like.”

There are many long and complicated answers to this, but there is also a simple one: healthy relationships make your life larger and happier; unhealthy relationships narrow your life and make you crazy.

Healthy relationships do not include mind games, mixed messages, or control.  There is not a back and forth or continual makeup and breakup, or “I’m sorry, please forgive me” every week or so.

 

In healthy relationships, there is a partnership and a nurturing by both parties of that partnership.  At the same time, each person recognizes the need to have interests and time away from their partner to nurture themselves. They don’t need to have the same interests, but rather the same view of life. Healthy love is about taking care of yourself and taking care of your mate… and those things are in balance to the point where they seldom collide.

What is Real Love?

Healthy people lead to healthy relationships and healthy relationships lead to real love.

Real love does not seek another person to fill up what we are lacking. It takes a complete, whole person to really love and overly needy people cannot do it. Real love is balanced. Both partners love in fairly equal amounts. While the balance may shift back and forth, it is not lopsided. If you love someone who is not loving your back, or not loving you the way you love them, then it’s not real.

When you place expectations on people to fill your empty places, that is not healthy. It’s nice to have a partner, a companion, someone to help you weather life’s storms, but it is not okay to look for someone to complete you or fix your broken places. That is not real love; that is dependence, co-dependence, and unhealthy neediness.

Real love does not play games, cause us to lose sleep, friends, jobs, money, time and value in our lives. Real love is an enlarging and not a narrowing experience. And finally, real love does exist. But it is true that in order to find the right person, you need to be the right person.

To be the right person you have to do your work, examine your failed relationships and, find the patterns. Go to counseling if you have historical issues. Find out why you are attracted to a certain type that is not good for you. And, at the same time, build your life so that you are an independent, interesting, and attractive person.  You will attract other independent, interesting, and attractive people who are capable of good and loving relationships.

As I say over and over again, water seeks its own level. If you are attracting and attracted to unhealthy and dysfunctional, you are unhealthy and dysfunctional. Do your work so that real love and lasting love has a chance to walk in.

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