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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Feeling controlling and guilty

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Author Topic: Feeling controlling and guilty
MissClover
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I have been in a relationship for a year and three months with my boyfriend. Recently we talked about porn and the fact that he watches it regularly (like once a week).
I did my best to convey to him that I felt insecure and overall crappy about it. I have always had low self esteem and this made it worse. I know I have a lot of insecurities and I have to deal with them myself, so I didnt ask or hint that he stopped watching.
However he said he really wants to help me overcome my insecurities and that he will stop watching if that helps.
I feel very guilty about this, I cant just say yes to his proposition because I feel its wrong of me to accept, but I dont know what else to do.

Does anyone have any ideas/advice?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, you did not ask but he offered.

And while his not watching porn is unlikely to do your own work in developing your self esteem more, if it is no big deal to him not to watch it, and you think that might help you some in the meantime, while you do your own work, I see no reason to feel bad about that and not say okay, if that is something you want. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MissClover
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Thank you a lot for your fast response, you are awesome [Smile]
I think I fear that later on he will resent me for promising this and wonder if maybe I should make sure some things, like for how long or tell him we can revisit this if he feels like it?

And do you have any advice regarding feeling insegure or how to get better at working on my self esteem?

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Heather
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Since he just offered this up like that, I am betting that using porn is a way bigger issue for you than it is to him.

I do not see that you need to make a big deal out of this. You can just tell him that yes, thank you, you would like to try that, but if he ever wants to talk about or revisit the issue or this agreement, by all means, he is welcome to do that with you.

Working on self-esteem most generally involves doing things, and developing ways of thinking, that support your value as a whole person, not just, for instance, based on how you look or your sexual value to a boyfriend. Counselors can help a lot with this, but you can also just get started yourself by finding some things you can do where you feel really good about all of who you are and invest some real time and energy in those things.

Since something like porn seems to be triggering these feelings, it might also help to do some thinking about why that feels so threatening to you. Do you think it means you are less valuable to your boyfriend? If so, why?

[ 03-25-2014, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MissClover
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I try to racionalize this and I know its normal and not wrong. When we talked about it he told me it has nothing to do with me and that it just something he does.

Nevertheless I think I feel threatened by it because I fear that he somehows likes the women he sees there more than me and that I couldnt possibly messure up, because they are obviously more attractive and porn is made so people look good all the time, its kind of what porn is.

I also think about what if when we are fooling around or having sex he thinks about what he has seen and I dunno, fantasies about it when he is with me. He made it really clear that is not the case, but I still have problems getting the idea out of my head.

Still thanks to everything you have told me I feel better and more calm about this, so thank you very much for your help [Smile]

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Heather
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I think one sound way of thinking through some of the ways you are thinking and feeling is to think about this with other media.

People on TV and in movies also are made to look good all the time. When you watch those kinds of media, and see people in there you find attractive, does that mean you like those people more than your boyfriend?

Mind, you probably have no idea because people are more than what they look like, and you do not even know those people, just like he does not know anyone in porn to know if he likes them.

We can say the same about fantasy that can come out of watching those other kinds of media. Do you have the same concerns about fantasies he might get in his head from watching regular movies? If not, why do you think you feel that way about pornographic media, but not other kinds of media? Thinking about that might help clarify some of this for you.

I am hearing what sounds a lot like getting caught up in the idea that your value to your boyfriend is about what you look like or may do sexually. Do you feel like your value as a person in general is only about those things? If not, do you feel like your value to your boyfriend is mostly about those things?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MissClover
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Honestly I never thought about comparing this to movies and such, and it really helped ease my mind a lot, thank you so much!

You are really spot on in that i dont fear him having fantasies from regulars movies, so its just about porn.

I honestly dont think my value is just about those things. My boyfriend is awesome, he is caring and loves me and we have a great relationship where sex is something we enjoy, so I definetely dont feel like he just values me for that aspect.

I now feel a bit more relaxed about it and the idea of my boyfriend watching porn bothers me a bit less and I know that is mostly just insecurity and jelousy.

I honestly feel a lot better about this thanks to talking with you, so I will try to overcome my insecurities and get better [Smile]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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And you know, it is okay if it takes you some time to get more comfortable, and you also get to have whatever feelings you have about porn. [Smile]

But for sure, it sounds to me like you can know your boyfriend likes YOU, who he does know (rather than anyone in porn, who he likely has never even met), and it sounds to me, too, like if you have moments where you slide into thinking sex is the big thing you offer, you have a lot of evidence to the contrary that that clearly is not what he sees as your primary value.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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