T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 3
posted 05-31-2012 06:20 PM
...disagree with them.
...say no to sex they want. ...ask them to use a condom. ...say I want more commitment but it turns out they don't. ...ask for more time with my friends and more privacy when I'm with them. ...stay friends with someone of a gender that makes them uncomfortable. ...ask for an open relationship. ...tell them I'm not straight. ...say I want to do something sexual they might not want to do. These and may other endings to that first half of the sentence are things we have heard at Scarleteen before. And they always get me thinking. I wonder, for instance, why it would be bad to not be with someone, if that happened, where any of those kinds of things WOULD result in them leaving, ostensibly because they couldn't handle or didn't like those things. I wonder when, if it's realistic someone would leave about those things, or threaten to, why still being in an unhealthy relationship -- and any of those things being world-ending for someone would make clear a relationship isn't healthy -- seems so terrible. I wonder what, if it's not at all realistic someone would leave over those things, is going on to have someone so scared of someone leaving, they're basically assuring the relationship they're in isn't a good one by not saying or doing those things. I also wonder why, when these kinds of things are going on, some folks are finding it so hard to recognize that a partner leaving being that scary means something is really amiss in some way, something that, if and when this is what's gong on, we'd need to figure out and change in order to be in a healthy relationship and be happy and comfortable in a relationship. So. I'm wondering if any of us could talk about this kind of situation and fear. Any takers?
Member # 95710
posted 05-31-2012 07:16 PM
In my own situation, I'm not sure if my partner would actually leave me - I'm just afraid he might. I think that even though people in our lives can be friendly and caring, sometimes we're just so afraid of getting hurt that we think the smallest (and probably the most non-threatening request) thing would set them off. It might also have to do with the self-esteem of the people in question; and how much they value themselves and how thy think others view them. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I have to work on those things.
I think judgment might be another factor (for example, if you tell someone you're not straight or that you want more privacy), too. Having people potentially judge our choices or values - especially people whom we care about - is pretty scary.
Member # 3
posted 05-31-2012 07:52 PM
I'm so glad you stopped by this thread, copper.
Do you mind - and if you do, feel free to tell me no, obviously -- if I ask why you feel like your partner leaving would hurt more than being in a relationship where you get hurt by not asking for safety, or get emotionally hurt by not feeling free to ask for things your partner might be upset by or not like? Both those things sound like big ways to get hurt to me. If I can ask a second question: if someone has low self-esteem, don't you think that these kinds of dynamics and enabling or creating them would only cement that low self-esteem or make it even lower? In other words, we know that people not taking a stand for themselves makes them feel crummy about themselves. [ 05-31-2012, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 95710
posted 06-01-2012 01:03 PM
I really feel badly writing what I did; if it has made my partner look disrespectful or uncaring in any way, that was not my intention and it's not who he is as a person. He is very nice and does not want me to get hurt. The reasons for me being afraid that he would leave are due to the fact that we had had two "break ups" that hurt me very badly; and ever since those two occurrences I am naturally just wary of how I act and I do not want to do anything that would cause him to leave me. I'm not saying he's inflexible or anything like that - it's just me trying to protect myself and at least be attentive to the fact that he could leave again. It's a lot of paranoia on my part and really doesn't have much to do with his actions.
As far as him hurting me by leaving, I guess my first paragraph has already explained that without me realizing! The thing is that I usually bring things up or ask about things and I'm comfortable with it; but there are obviously some issues (not just related to safer sex) that I tread lightly, just because they're delicate (i.e. if I want to bring up a new sexual idea he had brought up himself a while back but hadn't addressed since). I do agree with you that those two ways are ways to get hurt; but my partner - though he teases me a lot - does not actually hurt my feelings intentionally (I just might take something he said the wrong way). As far as the self-esteem, I can agree with you there, as well. But for me, I've had low self-esteem for years; so it wasn't as if my partner has made those feelings occur. There are many times where he severely boosts my self-esteem to the point that I feel so good about myself that it's unnatural. But I still agree with you nonetheless: if someone has low self-esteem to begin with, not being able to openly communicate could hinder them even further. I feel so weird writing about this personal side of my life in an open forum... But at least I am anonymous! I am sorry for the long post.
Member # 3
posted 06-01-2012 01:25 PM
I didn't make any assumptions about your partner, copper, no worries.
What I meant when I said not talking about things that need to get talked about could hurt us wasn't just that the person we're not talking about them to, could. For isntance, with the safer sex silence example, an infection could hurt us: some can REALLY hurt us, for the whole of our lives. We can also hurt ourselves by not voicing our needs in a relationship, because we can wind up trampled on, even inadvertently, by partners, and can also wind up feeling like we don't actually have equal say in a relationship, and that certainly hurts. If and when we set that up that way ourselves, it can actually hurt even more because we're probably going to feel much crappier about that than if someone else did that to us, if you catch my drift.
Member # 96015
posted 06-26-2012 04:35 PM
That kind of fear is what made so much of my first relationship unpleasant. I am pansexual and genderqueer, and during the three years I was with a straight man, I was frequently worried that I wasn't "enough of a real woman" for him, and scared that if I ever expressed a wish to connect to the queer community more or admitted how attractive women/queer people in general were to me, he would leave me. I did a lot of things that really compromised my sense of self because I was trying to please him, including wearing clothes I didn't like, not wearing clothes I did like, and having kinds of sex I wasn't fully comfortable with.
I intend to use those years as a learning experience and avoid those sort of situations like the plague in future. If I have to stop being myself to get someone to like me, then heck, they SHOULD break up with me, because the relationship won't serve either of us.
Member # 3
posted 06-26-2012 04:37 PM
(Cricket, I am so loving all of your contributions today!