Feel Lost and confused

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
HazmatFuel
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Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby HazmatFuel » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:09 am

This is gonna be a long one, so buckle up, grab some popcorn, and do what you do:

Some background info. I have been with an amazing man for an upcoming two years, some of the most amazing years in my life so far. Was madly in love and felt like the world couldnt get brighter. We got along on so many levels, discovering new ones every day. I was purely convinced that this was my tree. He was gonna be my one and only.

But stuff happens. He hit a rough patch at a college far away and i did my best to be there for him. One night, as he discribed it, he felt alienated. He wasnt himself and he went online. Found a male dating app fkr gay guys and sent a pic to one. A nude. He kept it hidden for four days before the guilt broke him down. I forgave him. It was my first time dealing with something like that. So i took his excuse and forgave him. Then, it happened a few months later. Again, going on that app and sending another pic.

We call it "the urge". It seems to happen once or twice a month randomly around 10-12pm. Its usually controllable, but sometimes, he cant seem to resist going on that app and lookkng at other mens pictures. He hasnt sent any since february, but i live with the constant fear of waking up and hearing him say "im sorry".

We have spoken to each other about it multiple times before. I view it as cheating, especially with the way he lacks information about it. He never tells if i dont ask, and he will only tell me bear minimun on the subject. Even going as far as lying.

After so long, its startibg to tear at me. I feel rejected, hurt, ugly, or like im not doibg enough. I love him, every little quirk he has (besides this one), every time he smiles everything falls into place. But every day the urge happens, that light he gave me weakens, sometimes it seems like its barely holding on. I dont care to see his body anymore, theres these moments where its nothing but anger, or sadness, or nothing but numb.

I love him and ive tried multiple times to help or have asked him what i can do to lessen the urge or make it stop. I told him that one more time, if he sends a pic one more time, that im gonna kick it. Im gonna leave the relationship. But i know i wont. Besides that flaw, there is nothing else that i hate about him. I cant love him completely anymore but i cant seem to hate him. I can be mad, but the second i see his face, its game over.

We have talked about this and even cried to eachother about this, but it feels as if nothing is healing. He still has the urges and im still losing faith.

My apologies for the long rant, but i need help. Ive spoke to my therapist about it, but she starts going on about the lgbt community and how its okay. Im not mad about him being bi, i used to think i was bi before i met him. Its the fact that his loyalty is slipping and it seems to be killing us both as a result. I dont know what to do or even if theres anything i can do. Just need some advice. Thank you.♥️

Sam W
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Re: Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:24 am

Hi HazmatFuel,

This sounds like a really tough situation to be in, and I'm sorry it's taking such a toll on a relationship that was (and still sometimes is) making you happy.

You mention you two have talked about this several times. How do those conversations usually go? What do you express and ask of him? What does he tell you or say he can or can't do? For instance, has he deleted the apps or accounts he uses to send those photos? If not, why does he feel like that's not a step he can take (especially if it creates a cycle where he feels as if he has no control over himself but then feels guilty)?

It may also help to parse out the difference between urges and actions. Pretty much anyone who experiences attraction is going to have the urge to look at or fantasize about someone who isn't their partner at some point. But it sounds like the issue here is that he's gone beyond just looking at least once, and that's damaged the trust between you two. I do think it's worth raising this with your therapist again and pointing out that it's not his engaging with men that bothers you, but that there was a breach of trust with those photos that you need help processing.

HazmatFuel
newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:48 am
My pronouns: She
My sexual identity and orientation: Straight
Location: Murica

Re: Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby HazmatFuel » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:52 am

He says its more like an irge than a wanting to do it, and he always feels extremely guilty afterwards, so much so to cry about it (hes not a guy that cries too much). The past year, i have been thinking of ways to get around it, such as three person relationships (mmf) which he says he is not interested in (which confuses me more), to me making a fake account on that site so it wouldnt technically be "cheating", etcetc.

He isnt the one that brings up the conversations regarding it, i do. I feel its something that needs to be talked about and not something to be ignored or pushed to the side to hopefully be forgotten. We both (from what i know, cant really speak for him), have been trying to find solutions and there seems to be nothing we can agree on.

When he goes on the app, it all usually starts off as "im bored" and goes from there (there was a time he wanted to look at it with more of a scientific/clinical persoective with me present, which i accepted because i was curious if it would help to come up with a solution).Then he deletes everything afterwards because he feels guilty for it. Then i hear about it when i ask (he wont tell me that it has happenned otherwise) and then it becomes confusing. Its a recent development (maybe about a year and a half) and hasnt happened with his ex relationships. Im wondering if its something im doing or not doing. This is my first serious relationship that has lasted longer than two months. And i really dont know what to do.

The only thing i ask of him so far is to try to resist it or to tell me what to do to try helping it lessen its "hold" on him. I dont know what else i can ask of him. He doesnt either. Its not something he willingly talks about, i have to soecifically ask about it or he will say nothing or leave out facts. I have made a chart to keep an eye on the urges to see if theres a pattern or whatnot with them, to see if that helps.

(He is a very private dude regarding personal stuff, so am i. I just really need anonymous advice on this because the obvious)

Thank you so so much for responding though!♥️

Mo
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Re: Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby Mo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:00 pm

While I certainly can't diagnose what's behind any of your boyfriend's behaviors, the fact that he says he's feeling an "urge" more than a clear desire and that he goes through a cycle of being upset & deleting the apps before eventually downloading them again makes me wonder if this is a compulsive behavior of some sort; if it isn't, I think the sort of techniques that people use to interrupt compulsive behaviors could still be helpful for him in breaking this habit.

The tricky part, though, is that this has to be something he wants to stop doing and the effort is really something that he needs to be putting in. It sounds like you're putting a lot of thought into what you can do to manage this situation or keep him from engaging with guys on these apps in the future, but I don't think this is something that you can change for him. There isn't a way that you can make that urge go away. It sounds like he wasn't interested in the idea of a threesome or triad relationship when you brought it up, but even if he had expressed interest, unless that's something that you both really wanted for genuine reasons beyond the issue of him sending pictures to guys on dating apps, I wouldn't suggest bringing someone else into your relationship as an attempt to resolve that issue.

What worries me a bit here is that it sounds like your boyfriend isn't forthcoming about doing this unless you ask, but being in a position where you're constantly asking him if he's engaged in behavior you don't like isn't going to be great for either of you. That doesn't sound like a healthy or sustainable dynamic in a relationship. I'm not sure what the answer is, but if this is something he seems unable or unwilling to stop but he won't admit it to you unless you really press him on it, that puts you in a tough place.

HazmatFuel
newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:48 am
My pronouns: She
My sexual identity and orientation: Straight
Location: Murica

Re: Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby HazmatFuel » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:55 pm

Update:

So, last night, he came out about a past possible trauma while a bit tispy (he wanted to drink, i stayed sober to keep an eye on him (were both 21). And i am doing my best to convince him to see a therapist about it. I think there is a connection between the possible trauma and the urges. Maybe its something his brain has shoved down and has come up to bite him later in life.

Its something he has never told anyone (not even his parents whom he has a strong connection with). There is hope now. And i think once he starts healing, the urges may go away, my trust in him can start healing, and we as a pair can start healing.

Sorta feels like the light at the end of the tunnel. No, im not happy with the walls that were built, or that he had to have alcohol in his system in order to break some down, and especially that it all happened in the first place, but now that he has been able to get it out of his system (he does remember telling me), theres a gap, something he can squeeze through, to get to the greener side.

I hope that soon he will choose to go to therapy to help him out with the urges (maybe how to control them or maybe move past them), and to help him cope/deal with the possible trauma that may possibly be the root of the problem.

Thank you guys! For the advice, the questions, all the help! ❤️ I hope you all have hella positive days!

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6950
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
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Re: Feel Lost and confused

Unread postby Sam W » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:36 am

I'm so glad talking here has been helpful!

And I'm glad he felt comfortable enough opening up to you about that trauma; opening up about it gives him more chances for support, which is something he really deserves.

Hopefully he's able to find a therapist and begin healing that way as well. I do want to add that even if that process takes awhile, there are resources (like workbooks) to help people deal with compulsive behavior. So if he's still noticing the urges in the interim and they're distressing him, he also has some options to dig into on his own to help him out with that.


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