Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Complicated consent situation

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Complicated consent situation
red_right_ankle
Neophyte
Member # 96202

Icon 1 posted      Profile for red_right_ankle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi scarleteen...can you help me out?

Here's the back story as fast as I can give it: I'm 21 now. I was best friends with my ex in high school and then we dated for almost 3 years. The break up was unimaginably messy. It went on for almost a year. I was trying to save it desperately because I loved him so much and didn't know why things were changing. He changed and stopped being there for me. He would promise to change and then do the same things again the same day. It got to an (accidental and non-physical) abusive cycle.

Here's where my issue begins:
The last time I saw him was about a month and a half ago. I was at his apartment. We were friends at this point but were also in this weird half relationship state where we didn't kiss or have sex but cuddled and stuff. I was still waiting for him to come around. I don't remember exactly how it all happened but we ended up in bed together to sleep. One thing lead to another and things began to get sexual. Part of me was going along with it because I'm a very sexual person and have very bad self-control, but I was voicing that I knew it was a bad idea and we should stop. He kept doing things and touching me to distract me and make me go along with it. I said no and stop multiple times, but not in a totally firm way. We ended up having sex for a couple minutes, until he stopped to put a condom on and I had a second to think. When I had that moment I stopped everything and got really angry at him. We talked about it and I thought I was fine, but now I'm not so sure. (After I thought I was fine, I cut communication with him because of the cycle we were in and we still aren't really talking)

I'm upset but not overwhelmed. I just am struggling with what happened. I'm scared to even think that the word "rape" applies to this, although I feel as though it could if I wanted it to. But it feels like an exaggeration if I think of it like that. I don't feel like a "rape survivor." I know he didn't do it out of malicious intentions, he's just immature and young (although we're the same age). That being said, there was a definite lack of consent and I'm extremely angry about it and feel like it has tainted the good years I had with him.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for with this post. I guess I want to know what I should do to deal with this. I talked to him tonight for only the 2nd time in almost 2 months. He said he was sorry about it but I still don't feel he gets it. I'm not sure if he thinks of it as what it could be or not. Should I clear the air and ask him if he feels it was rape or not? What will make me feel settled about this? I really want to sort this out so I can be friends with him eventually because he was such an important part of my life for a while, but right now part of me feels like I don't want to see him ever again.

Posts: 9 | From: Chicago | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
red_right_ankle
Neophyte
Member # 96202

Icon 1 posted      Profile for red_right_ankle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry, maybe I should have posted this is "Abuse and Abusive Relationships"
Posts: 9 | From: Chicago | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HI red_right_ankle and welcome to Scarleteen.

It's clear that this is causing you a lot of emotional difficulty and conflict. IN general, it sounds like your relationship (as in, the way you two related to each other, not just your romantic relationship) became complex and not particularly healthy. Regarding what you said about his promises to change, what we know is that people don't change unless they really want to. So, if he promised to change, and repeatedly showed that he would not or could not, that's a pretty good sign that things aren't going to change. If his behaviours were such that you didn't want to be around him/didn't like the way he treated you, then it sounds like ceasing communications may well be the healthiest thing for you.

Regarding nonconsensual sex: Saying "no" or "stop" doesn't have to be done firmly. IN all other aspects of life, "no" or "stop" are considered final words on whatever the subject is. Same goes for sex unless the partners are role playing and have agreed ahead of time that "no" or "stop" mean something different in that particular sexual encounter.

As to how you frame this for yourself, you don't have to call it rape if you don't want to. You can call it sex you didn't want.

I'm not certain how, given the breakdowns in communication and compatibility the two of you had already experienced, discussing this with him would help anything. it doesn't sound as if such a conversation would be overly productive. WE can discuss that more if you like though? What do you feel you would get out of such a discussion? How do you think you'd react based on various responses he might have, such as anger, denial, belittling of your concerns, etc?

d

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
red_right_ankle
Neophyte
Member # 96202

Icon 1 posted      Profile for red_right_ankle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks so much for the response.

I want to know that he feels remorse and understands that what he did was messed up. I know he feels both of those things but I don't think he fully gets it. I don't know...I just don't want to think of that situation when I think about him, because he was my first love and best friend for so long.

If I fully let him know how I feel and didn't hold back my emotions, he would probably freeze and not say anything. He might say "Im sorry" a couple times but I'm sure it won't be what I'm looking for.

It's so frustrating because I'm not in this relationship anymore, I'm past it and I'm happy, yet this is kind of the same cycle situation, I want something from him and he can't/won't give it to me. He's not the angry type and wouldn't deny or belittle what I would say but he just wouldn't give me what I want I guess.

Posts: 9 | From: Chicago | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nodding....If he doesn't give you what you're looking for, which it really sounds like he won't, do you think you can live with that? What i mean to say is: If you can guess how he'll respond based on the conversations you two have already had about this, is it better or worse for you to have another conversation? Sometimes actually being confronted with a person's inability to connect with and interact with our truth can feel really horrible. Sometimes it can still feel, as cliched as it sounds, like closure. What do you think it would feel like for you, and is it worth finding out?

It may very well be that you two can't be friends right now, both because he betrayed your trust by not listening to your "no" and because the last several months in which you communicated regularly were so difficult. Sometimes it's not possible to go from being partners back to being friends right away.

You're happy and don't miss the relationship too much, but you miss the friendship. Do you miss what you could have now, or what you had before?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
red_right_ankle
Neophyte
Member # 96202

Icon 1 posted      Profile for red_right_ankle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know we can't be friends now, but I'd like things to be friendly. I feel like it's a distraction to be upset with him. I know our friendship can never be what it was before we were dating or while we were dating, but I want to be able to hang out with him every couple weeks and it not be weird.

I really do want closure on the situation, though. I just read an article on Jezebel about how a lot of men use self-deprecation to deflect confrontations. I think this is exactly what he did the whole break-up, so I kind of just want to burst that and yell at him :/ Would it be totally wrong of me to just call him and let it all go so I can release those negative feelings? Or am I just angry and looking for justification?

Posts: 9 | From: Chicago | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hearing you say that you think it's a distraction for you to be upset with him, I'm concerned that you're minimizing your own feelings or the right to your own feelings.

As to whether you should call him and let out all your feelings: How do you think you would feel afterwards? How do you think he would react?

Regardless of what has happened with the two of you, I'm not sure that there's a way for you to hang out righ tnow and for it not to feel weird, at least for right now. When the nature of a relationship changes, it takes many people a while to work through their own feelings but also to figure out what this new relationship is going to look like.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
red_right_ankle
Neophyte
Member # 96202

Icon 1 posted      Profile for red_right_ankle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't mean to minimize my feelings...I just don't want to be upset when I'm not going to get anything from it.

I don't know how I would feel...probably not satisfied because he never actually says anything. I know it's stupid to expect him to help resolve my feelings about everything, but I can't help but crave that, I feel.

And I know that we can't hang out now, I just mean in the future.

Posts: 9 | From: Chicago | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, he's been such an important part of your life that it makes sense that you'd want to process this with him, both because it was something he did, and because, I'd guess, you're used to talking about deeply personal things with him.

Who else do you have in your life that you could share this with, who would be nonjudgmental and support you through this?

P.S. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3