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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Dealing with these Thoughts

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Author Topic: Dealing with these Thoughts
EC
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Recently my former girlfriend and I ended the relationship. In many ways I'm relieved because it just wasn't working for either one of us. But since I've been trying to accept that it's over, there's a lot on my mind that I can't stop thinking about. I was hoping to briefly talk about it on this forum.

For one, I can't stop worrying about the "what ifs" regarding a pregnancy concern that was already classified as no risk on this forum (Indirect Transfer of Pre-ejaculate). I can think through it logically and understand that what we engaged in wouldn't cause a pregnancy, but in my mind I'm obsessing over it. Basically, I fear that if I move on and some day enter into a new relationship, I might get a call from her telling me she is pregnant and all the drama from the past would return. It's kind of irrational the way I think about this I guess, but I just don't know what would reassure me enough to let go of this one.

Another thing is that I worry about her well being. One of the reasons we broke up is because she is seeing someone else, who is a married man 10+ years older than she is (30 vs. 19 years old), who has children of his own. I know at this point it's none of my business, but she's keeping the relationship a secret from everybody and I'm the only one who knows about it. I feel like she may be in an unhealthy situation and I don't know if there's anything I could do. I don't intend to initiate contact with her, but maybe I could inform a mutual friend (or would that be a violation of privacy?).

The third thing is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I think she may be already sexually active with this new guy and the thought of it makes me feel uneasy and sick. I don't know for sure, but she had dropped little hints here and there. Again, I don't have the right to control her, but it would make me angry, considering it took us years to gain trust in that way.

Finally, overall I feel lonely. I don't feel needed and appreciated [by her] anymore, which is hard to accept. I know it will take time to strengthen and build close relationships with other people, and that's my plan. But at this point, I'm not sure how to handle the feelings of rejection I guess.

I probably have to let go of all this stuff from the past, just not sure how. Hope this isn't too long or complex. I really appreciate your support on this site. Thanks [Smile]

[ 01-08-2010, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: EC ]

Posts: 44 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey EC,

Are you around by any chance? Sorry your post has sat around for so long. It's a tricky situation for sure. Any additional information or developments? I'd be glad to talk to you about this more this weekend if you're interested. [Smile] I hope you're doing well!

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EC
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Lena, thank you so much for getting back to me [Smile]

Well overall, I'd say that I'm doing better. For one thing, I'm back at college for the new semester and that can be a good sort of distraction. The good news is that our break up seems to be lasting this time, which had been a challenge for literally years. In the past month, she has contacted me and we chat a bit from time to time.

I guess I don't feel so lonely as much, because I'm around more friends at school. I still am a bit concerned about her involvement with this man. Maybe it's not as big a worry now. I think in a way, she's involved with him to get those feelings of passion and excitement that had faded somewhat with us. Based on the little info that she has told me, it seems that it hasn't been extraordinarily unhealthy, but I am concerned that no one knows about it and about the nature of their relationship. There's probably not too much I can do - I guess she has to make her own choices.

Probably the biggest thing at this point is that my mind still obsesses over the pregnancy worries. For example, just last night I dreamt that my fear came true. I've had several dreams like that. Mentally, I'm just not completely convinced. I don't know if I'm just "finding" something to worry about, because it's common for me to do so. But I feel if there's even the slightest chance of something "bad" happening, I can't relax.

The other thing is: I don't know what my next step should be, in general. I actually don't want to be in a romantic relationship for while. But I also sense that the clock is ticking and my youthful years are fading away even though I'm 21. Lastly, I wonder if the fact that she and I still talk on occasion is detrimental to being in the mindset of "moving on."

Thanks again!

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Ecofem
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Hi EC!

First, I'm glad to hear you're doing better. [Smile] Staying busy and happy at uni is such a biggie, and knowing the break-up feels final this time (while also being able to chat from time to time) also sounds very positive. Because you mention worrying staying in touch might make it harder for you to "move on", I think it depends: Do you feel good after you two talk or is it still hard for any reason? If so, I think you could respectfully tell her you appreciate her company online but would like some space to focus more on yourself for a bit. That you still care for her and wish her the best but need the break.

I can imagine how hard it must be to hear about her involvement with this older, married guy: He's cheating on his wife and putting her at huge risks, and it's just not fair to her. It's not fair for her to put all these secrets on you, especially when you're still getting over her yourself! She probably means no harm but it's a pretty hurtful thing to do! You could tell her that you are worried for her because this relationship doesn't sound healthy. You can have your own boundaries, too, and tell her that you just don't feel comfortable discussing the relationship with her anymore or carrying the burden. You could recommend she seek out counseling services locally if she doesn't feel she can talk about it with any other friends locally. I don't think you should tell others but you can draw the line and help her find other resources.

For starters, you could send her these Scarleteen articles:
Potholes & Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault

Has she gotten her period since you were together? Has she taken a pregnancy test? You already know the risk was not there but these things may help you feel more reassured. I think the worries about pregnancy risks are a sign that you felt very unsure about this relationship and, as you said, too, that you're worried a pregnancy would bring you back into all of this again. I think not talking for awhile might help actually, upon hearing more and thinking about it. And if you're still feeling wary about the pregnancy risk, you also could seek out counseling. Can you talk about this is anyone in person?

Have you seen this yet? It sounds like you've already come a long way here but it's a good read nonetheless. [Smile]
Boys DO Cry: How To Deal With A Breakup Like A Man

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EC
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I think talking to her has been mostly OK, as we've been keeping our convos pretty platonic. Probably the biggest thing is I need a break from the drama, which includes her new relationship and her occasional efforts to find out personal info from my life (which I'd rather not share as much anymore since we're not together). In any case, setting more of my own boundaries is probably something I could and should practice. That can be hard for me to do because despite all this baggage, I still care deeply for her as a person.

Thank you for sending these links. I'll take a look at them and keep them in mind as resources she could turn to.

About a month ago (a week after the last encounter), she called me to tell me her "period" came (although it's technically her first withdrawal bleed as she just started using BC pills). It was relieving to hear, but I can't help but wonder if she was just saying that to shut me up due to my anxiety over this. She didn't want to take a pregnancy test.

You are so insightful. The reason I have been so worked up over it is because of the uncertainties and trust issues we've had in the relationship. Because the relationship was problematic, it seems like the consequences would just be disastrous. I don't really feel like I can talk about this anxiety with anybody except for you guys or counselors, but talking about it with someone in person might help.

Yes, I've read through the Boys Do Cry article, I may take another look at it. I guess I don't really have any questions in particular but it's nice to just talk about it on here.

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by EC:
I think talking to her has been mostly OK, as we've been keeping our convos pretty platonic. Probably the biggest thing is I need a break from the drama, which includes her new relationship and her occasional efforts to find out personal info from my life (which I'd rather not share as much anymore since we're not together). In any case, setting more of my own boundaries is probably something I could and should practice. That can be hard for me to do because despite all this baggage, I still care deeply for her as a person.

I think it's noteworthy how you've been able to put aside your own feelings about the relationship ending to be a friend to her throughout this. I mean, whether one takes a break or goes right into a platonic friendship is up to the people involved and their comfort level. Not taking a break can make things harder, but it seems you've worked through things quite well, even if there are some hard moments.

Even when you're seeing this as a supportive friendship with someone you care a lot about, it's understandable that it can feel overwhelming to carry the burden like you've described in the kindest way. In terms of setting boundaries, I think doing so (and it can take some trial and error) will help both of you: it helps you focus on your own stuff and get to sharing positive stuff with her, and it encourages her to rethink the situation (because it's basically an unhealthy relationship at the least) and hopefully reach out for some more, active support. You could decide to chat just once every week or two weeks, prearrange it and even set a time limit if you'd like; you could also switch to communicating via email for a bit, although that might become harder or more time-consuming. Encouraging her to seek out that in-person help when she's in a really rough spot would be especially helpful, I think, for long-term situational betterment for her.

quote:
Thank you for sending these links. I'll take a look at them and keep them in mind as resources she could turn to.
You're welcome! I think it's hard balancing just listening and not criticizing and seeing friends find themselves in the same crummy situation time and time again. That's when the speaking up and caring "broken record" can actually be good; that's not said very well but I think you get what I mean. [Smile]

quote:
About a month ago (a week after the last encounter), she called me to tell me her "period" came (although it's technically her first withdrawal bleed as she just started using BC pills). It was relieving to hear, but I can't help but wonder if she was just saying that to shut me up due to my anxiety over this. She didn't want to take a pregnancy test.
Well, she really should be set then: taking a pregnancy test would have been nice for your sake but she didn't want to and that's up to her. And if you want to get to worse case scenario and she were to become pregnant after all (of course, not after she got her period after a month on BCP), chances are it'd be probably be the new guy and you could always take a paternity test to determine this. But, as you know, that's not really a realistic scenario here, fortunately. However, the amount of stress it's causing you does really make for the case of taking a break from talking for awhile because it's clearly very hard in some ways!

quote:
You are so insightful. The reason I have been so worked up over it is because of the uncertainties and trust issues we've had in the relationship. Because the relationship was problematic, it seems like the consequences would just be disastrous. I don't really feel like I can talk about this anxiety with anybody except for you guys or counselors, but talking about it with someone in person might help.
Thanks! Pregnancy fears when the risk is low or non-existant, whether it's the female-bodied or male-bodied person freaking out, are often a sign of something else being a bit off in a relationship. I know from personal experience that I had these huge pregnancy fears after a risk in high school that persisted for awhile; however, in every opposite-sex relationship since then, I've haven't had those worries because I've been with people who were pro-active with stuff like condom use and supportive of other birth control options themselves.

So, I can see it from the women's perspective as the person who'd actually become pregnant but I've also seen the other side of the coin with my younger brother. Because in a way you want to be extra-extra careful and find a sexual partner you can trust, too, because if the woman becomes pregnant, you have to support her in whatever decision she makes. (You know this, of course!) My brother got comprehensive sex ed in school and is very conscientious, but my other sisters and I still have talked to him about it a lot.

While we can't offer you male birth control pills or the like, we do have a number of resources on male birth control options to check out. The bottom line being that, if you don't feel comfortable with someone for any reason, to abstain from any partnered sexual activities with them for the time being/ever. Being with a partner you can trust is a biggie and even if it's just casual, talking about safer sex and birth control beforehand is highly recommended. Most people would appreciate your responsibility and caring in this way, and if someone were to consider it a bad thing, it'd probably be best not having sex with that person. Stocking up on safer sex supplies such as condoms and lube also would help because condoms would be your best defense in terms of avoiding pregnancy risks and STIs. Supporting, but not pressuring, a partner in her BC options is another biggie. If it interests you, you could look into something more permanent such as a vasectomy but that's something permanent, so it's not an option if you're interested in potentially having biological children one day, and not something really performed on younger men.

Here are those links:
Birth Control Bingo!
Hey, Boyfriend! Male Reproductive Choices
Misconception Mayhem: Separating Pregnancy and Pregnancy Risk Myths from Facts
Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
Your Map to the Condom Aisle
Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul
Vasectomy experience (A male user in his early 40s talks about his decision to get a vasectomy as well as the procedure itself; I'm linking it not so much due to the vasectomy bit -- no hidden messages there! -- but so you can read the account of a conscientious guy's experiences with BC and female-bodied partners over the years.)

quote:
Yes, I've read through the Boys Do Cry article, I may take another look at it. I guess I don't really have any questions in particular but it's nice to just talk about it on here.
Yes, I can imagine you've already seen a bunch of these but a second or third reading generally can only help; I tend to go back and occasionally read old articles to refresh. I gave you a bunch more stuff to think about; again, it sounds like you're a thoughtful and caring person and even if this situation is hard, it's really only going to pay off in future sexual relationships. Good luck and please do come back if and when you want to talk some more about this. I may not be around but another volunteer or staff member would be happy to pitch in. [Smile]
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EC
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Lena, thanks again, I'm so grateful for your supportive insights! [Smile] It's always nice to hear how other people have coped with similar situations.

I should be OK dealing with this stuff for the time being. Hopefully during this time of reflection I'll continue to see things more clearly.

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