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mr. pugs and i went to see a therapist for a few sessions. it was very helpful. i'd recommend it to any couple having some issues. it helps you learn to talk to the other person in words they can understand. i think we hear things different all of us men and women. shit, i can tell a difference in mr. pug's reaction to just asking him as opposed to telling him to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher. silly shit like me making a honey do list is like telling him to do something like i'm his mother rather then just asking him to help me with something like his equal...and vice versa.

ahh the honey do list. I will never ever do that. I grew up with the "list " of shit to do from my mom and it always drove me up a fuckin wall. It always felt like a very passive aggresive method of control and I HATED when my mother would leave me a list

I REFUSE to leave a grown ass man a list of shit to do.
If my old man cant see a dish full of dishes and do them, that's his problem. They'll just sit there till I get to them. or he does. I find usually if I start to do them, he'll push me out of the way and take over.

once he told me he didn't like the way I was mopping the floor, I handed him the mop and said " If you don't like the way I do it, do it yourself". Then I left the room. That was the first and last time he ever did that.
I've decided to go to therapy on my own.

In my last relationship therapy was a great tool for me and my guy. Although we broke up it took nine years, we went to therapy in year three. That's a pretty good return, right?

We finally had sex on Friday! It ended kinda weird but well, we had sex. Early in the evening he apologized profusely - like all evening. His work situation is unbearable and getting worse. I know that things on the sexual front aren't going to change until he's in a new job. In the meantime I'm going to go to therapy on my own. I told him I was going and he joked and said, "I'm going on vacation." Which we are doing next week so maybe he can relax and forget about work. We'll see...

This is a place I've been in w/every guy that I've lived with so I can't say it's all him - though he's been in this position before too. He doesn't want to go to therapy and figure out why he's in this place again but I do. He blames our current sexual situation squarely on himself and I'm not sure that's so healthy either.

Honey list? Never heard of that. My list would be:
Fondle Girlfriend
Clean Kitty's box
Fuck Girlfriend like you're going to die tomorrow
Clean Bathroom
Fuck Girlfriend w/passion and sincerity
Mop Kitchen Floor
Find A New Job

I don't think that would work but maybe I'll suggest it. smile.gif

Thanks everyone! I'll keep y'all posted on the rollercoaster ride of love.

AAGirl, wise decision with the therapy, I’m sure it will help (and congrats on the doin’ it!). I’ve been reading “Orgasms for Two” by Betty Dodson and though a lot of it is about how to give a woman an orgasm I think some of it could apply to men as well – just the notion of performance anxiety taking one of one’s body and into one’s head as opposed to just surrendering to the sensations. I obviously have no idea if that’s his problem, but she also talks a bit about what to do when couples have differing sex drives, might be worth a look.

Anyway, I’m starting to think therapy would help me as well. I’ve been feeling so jealous and hurt by pretty much everything my boyfriend does lately, and it just seems like the more I try to control myself and just stop being overcome by these emotions the more they spiral out of control. It’s so weird. It seems like the longer we’re together the more I should trust him and feel confident in our relationship, but for some reason it’s only gotten worse. As in, the more I have invested in him and our relationship the more I feel I have to lose with him. It probably doesn’t help that I’m at a weird sort of “turning point” age – 28 (he’s 26). I don’t know, I know I still have some time, but I sorta feel some sort of compulsion to figure out if this is going to be it and we’re going in the marriage/fam direction, or if it’s just, ya know, not… But he’s of the “just see where things take us” mentality, and I feel like I can’t argue with that, because he’s probably right. It’s better to let things just progress naturally than to plan everything out, ‘cause stuff never works out how people plan it anyway. I don’t know, this was kind of a ramble, sorry, feels good to express confused thoughts though.
Likeanyother, I have been feeling the exact. same. way. (Not the marriage and kids part, but the emotions you described.)

You hit the nail on the head when you said that the more you have invested the more you feel you have to lose. I was thinking that just yesterday. I feel really, really emotionally invested in my relationship and I think he is too, I mean he says so and we've briefly talked about living together, but I feel as though he's been making less effort than he used to. I guess that's normal, maybe he's just more comfortable? When the relationship was newer there were constant sweet emails, he'd remember to ask about stuff that was important to me... you know, stuff that makes one feel really loved (we're in a LDR to boot). I've tried to keep up the same behaviors as before but I feel like he's just not. If I mention it he makes an effort, and then slips again. I think it's really uncool for both people when one is nagging the other for something. I'm having a really hard time discerning how much is his behavior that's changed or "not good enough," and how much is me going through an emotional or stressful time, or just some hormonal b.s. I also tend to imagine things and can be really insecure. I know ultimately those are my issues to deal with because they're going to come back and bite me in the butt every time. He does help me with them and is really reassuring. Despite all my complaining just now he truly is a good guy, and probably the best boyfriend I've had. I guess that's why I'm so afraid to lose him.

In all my (3) long-term relationships I think I've felt less confidence and trust as time passed. Maybe it's the fear of loss that you described. Also, when everything is new I get really caught up, feel excited and happy, and if I do feel any doubt I hesitate to say anything for fear of being too heavy or negative.
Double post. The lounge is making me mad today.
It sounds like this is pretty common. My boy was really sweet when we started dating, but now he's just himself. He would send emails about how he didn't care what we did - he just wanted to spend time with me. Now when I get an email from him, it's perfunctory and factual. Of course, I acted differently when we were first dating as well. But I miss the sweet stuff. His response is that he expects me to remember what he's said, and know that it's still true. He still wants to spend time with me, he still thinks about me all the time, but he's not going to say it over and over.

Jealousy is horrible. I get overcome with it to the point of actual hyperventilating-on-the-floor panic attacks. I'm convinced that he'd leave me in a heartbeat for his ex, even though he's told me repeatedly that it's not true. His answer just never seems to be the right answer.
Obelix, do you mean to say that he never tells you that he loves you anymore? Ever? If so ... well ... that would be unacceptable in my world, but that's just me.

Sheff and I tell one another "I love you" at least three times a day & usually more. When he leaves for work, one of us always says something like, "Have a good day! Remember I love you!" (And the other responds, "Remember I love you, too, honey! Take care!"). Before he leaves the office, Sheff calls me to say he's on his way home and to ask if I need anything. I never do, but it's always nice to chat with him and, yes, we end that phone call by saying, "I love you". Before we go to sleep, we always share at least one final kiss & tell eachother that we love eachother one final time. For us, this is perfectly normal - and absolutely vital. It's such an easy thing to do, but it feels so good to do it. It is a warm reminder of our connection. Plus, we can't help but smile when we say, "I love you," so even if we're annoyed with one another, it's good to say it just to be reminded us that, under that bit of annoyance, there's still a lot of love and commitment there.

Honestly, though, this practice isn't unique for me. In every other serious relationship I've been in, my boyfriend and I said, "I love you," at least once a day. If a guy refused to do that because he thought it was unnecessary because he already told me once before ... well, we'd be quickly on our way to Splitsville. I simply have no tolerace for that kind of cold, stubborn attitude.

But hey. We all have our priorities. You have to pick your battles. I'm sure there are plenty of women out there who aren't comfortable with saying "I love you" every day or even every week. I'm simply not one of them.

I don't know what to say about the nervousness and uncertainty. I think a lot of us would love to have more control over our lives and we desperately want to know what comes next. There are so many decisions we have to make in our lives that sometimes it seems like it would be a huge relief to strike a few of those major tasks off the list.
Hee. My first super-long post pointed out that saying "I love you" was the exception. But it's one of those things that I don't want to do too often - I refuse to say it casually at the end of a phone call. But during smoochy times, one of us usually says it.

And come to think of it, he has told me more that once that I have a magnificent ass. biggrin.gif
Obelix, my mister and I say 'I love you' relatively rarely, as in maybe once a month, once every 2 months. It's always very heartfelt when either of us does say it though, and it's something we tend to say at random moments, when one of us is especially feeling it. Certainly we said it to each other a lot more at the start: meaning the first year or so.

I think we say it relatively rarely because we're both somewhat reserved; him because he was brought up that way, culturally; me because I've acquired that reserve, I guess! It does work for us though, and that's the thing, every couple is different. If you're feeling a lack of affection, obviously your response is valid. There's only 2 of you in it after all.
I have to say I love you. for me though when I say it, I never say it casually. I make a point of feeling the meaning inside of myself as I say it. That way it will never lose it's meaning , this remains even though Mrs. Rouge and I have been together for five years this fall. Mrs. Rouge also has a magnificent ass.
QUOTE(edie52 @ Apr 28 2008, 02:05 PM) *
In all my (3) long-term relationships I think I've felt less confidence and trust as time passed.

Funny, I feel the exact opposite. As time goes by I feel more confident and more trust in Mr. Pugs. I always try to have confidence in myself and in our relationship. I think Mr. Pug finds this attractive. When we were younger and I was always worried he'd leave me or worried about other women he'd get so annoyed by this. The first time we met I was full of confidence and then as we dated for a bit I feel in love with him more and more and I got jealous of other women and worried he'd leave me. I'd tell him this all the time and he'd roll his eyes and tell me I was being paranoid. As time passed I guess I just realized that he's right. He's not going anywhere and if he decided to leave me I'd be a mess but I'd heal. It would take a long time but I'd move on. I don't think this will ever happen so I focus on the now and how happy we are and we are both very happy. Having stopped worrying about him leaving me has allowed me to grow and be my silly self around him.

As far as:

QUOTE(roseviolet @ Apr 28 2008, 10:26 PM) *
Sheff and I tell one another "I love you" at least three times a day & usually more.

Same for Mr. Pug and I. We say it before one of us leaves in the morning, whenever we end a phone conversation and before we go to bed. None of our friends or either of our parents do this. In fact, I don't know anyone else who says I love you as often as Mr. Pugs and I do. I can admit that I say it out of habit BUT I ALWAYS MEAN IT. There are times were I really feel a surge of love for him and I say it sort of out of the blue. He does the same thing. I'm one of those paranoid freaks who is always worried that if something ever happened to him I'd want the last thing I said to him to be, "I Love You!!" It's silly I know. I guess saying I love you is a couple to couple thing.

I used to have two friends who while they were dating only kissed using tongues during sex. Any other kissing was just quick pecks here and there. I thought this was so strange but they felt that kind of kissing was "special" and so they only did it during sex. This maybe going a bit too far but what the hell. They also almost always had anal sex. They rarely had vaginal sex. I guess it was just what they both preferred. Whatever floats your boat right!
Yeah, trusting your partner really is the only way to have a really good relationship, I totally agree, and I'm striving for it. Some people just seem to have this natural trust and confidence in their relationships and I seem to just not. I seem to tend naturally toward the insecure and paranoid. I honestly don’t know the true origin of my paranoia, I’m sure it’s a hearty mix of things past and present, internal and external that make me this way. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to deal with. It helps to hear I’m not the only one struggling with it though.

I’ve talked about this a while back, but the way my boyfriend is isn’t necessarily the most conducive to trustworthiness (to a paranoid freak like me, anyway). He has a lot of female friends, many of whom happen to be hot skinny single hipster girls who he knows from school, who he has a little ‘Writer’s Group’ with – meetings consisting of going out to the bar, of course, ‘cause that’s "what writers do." Yeah. Um, also, he’s not an “I love you” boyfriend (he thinks having to say it all the time is just “jumping through a hoop” and he “refuses to play that game”), and he can be a bit distant at times – periods of no communication aren’t unusual/upsetting to him, as they are to me. I don’t know, I don’t want to just be bitching ‘cause there are a lot of great things about him and our relationship, which I think in the end outweigh the challenges, which is why I’m still with him…

Oh, yeah, been reading Betty Dodson and she’s all about open relationships, and, though I don’t think I could go that far, I’ve been trying to follow her advice on alleviating jealousy. She equates it to giving up a drug, whenever that feeling creeps up she just stops and says, “I don’t think that way anymore,” and distracts herself with something else. I’ve been trying to do that and it’s made me realize that jealousy is kind of a drug in a way. Of course it’s not a good feeling per se, but it’s so intense and affective, it can be kind of an addiction, does anyone else feel that way?

Hmm, okay, anyway, that’s enough of my half-assed thoughts for one post. rolleyes.gif
Mr Pugs
The way I've always played it with LMP is that if I'm happy more than unhappy, I'll stay. If the unhappiness begins to outweigh the happiness, I believe it's better for both parties if they go their separate ways. The scale starts with the beginning of the relationship, it's not a "I'm completely unhappy today, see ya", but taking into account the whole relationship. For us, it will be 12 years in July. That's a lot of happy time that will outweigh damn near any rough patch.

Men usually aren't receptive to many things, there have been many times LMP has been mad at me and I didn't even know. The one thing I always picked up on was her jealousy. It annoyed me and really pissed me off. You can play the I love you so much I don't want to lose you bit, but men (I) hear that as "I don't trust you enough to do that even though you have never given me any reason to doubt you, and even though you say that I'm the girl for you, I don't believe you." It makes us feel like we don't know how to make you happy, that you don't believe us when we say we love you and want to be with you. Maybe I'm unique, but I think the best way to prove I want to be with you is to be with you. He's coming home to you, dealing with the jealousy and still staying around because he wants to be with you.

Hope it helps,
Mr Pugs
I'm one of those paranoid freaks who is always worried that if something ever happened to him I'd want the last thing I said to him to be, "I Love You!!"

-me too. I'm so paranoid, that I'm that way about everyone I love, though. Every time I speak with a family member, I have to have it be the last thing I say, it's almost a compulsion. And I never say it without meaning it. Crinoboy was reticent at first, but now he says it almost as much as I do!
sorry that was OT, back to regularly scheduled programming.
EXCELLENT post, Mr. Pugs. Truly excellent.

I don't tend to have problems with jealousy. However, I can be extra pessimistic about tons of other things in my life! LikeAnyOther, I think I may have to take that advice that you mentioned. Perhaps when I start thinking negative thoughts or when I'm particularly hard on myself, I need to say, "I don't think that way anymore," and move on. It's just simple enough to work.

Back to my "I love you" comments. I think my parents had a big influence on this habit. They tell eachother "I love you" all the time. And my mother says it to me every time she calls me.
Word, ladies and gents. And thanks Mr. P, your perspective actually does help. My boyfriend has said similar things to me and expressed similar annoyance at my paranoia. I’ve realized (after many instances of him pointing it out) that I tend to get an idea in my head about what he’s doing/thinking (such as out flirting with his school friends) and then can’t let it go, and the more he refutes it the more sure I am that I’m right. And that’s effed up. Hearing that from someone other than him somehow makes it easier to accept. The internal politics of relationships, I guess?
LikeAnyOther, I'm right there with you. My boyfriend and I have been together now four+ years (minus a breakup of a few months about a year and a half ago). When we got back together a little more than a year ago, a HUGE part of why I decided that I did want to get back together was that he was willing to discuss the "how" of our shared future. He's divorced and has a pretty dim view of marriage, though a year ago he told me he'd be willing to do whatever I wanted, since breaking up made him realize that he wanted to be with me however possible. Now, though, it's been more than a year that we've been back together, and jealousy is still a pretty enormous issue between us. [I love, LOVE, the "I don't think that way anymore" mantra.] Also, discussing the future is something that happens only if I bring it up, and recently he told me he wasn't ready to "jump" into anything. WTF? JUMP? It's been YEARS. I don't feel like my concern is necessarily the time ticking away, though partly- I don't want to have gone through the breaking up and getting back together, the moving in together and his moving out and moving back in only to break up cause we have different ideas about how the future could look. Also, I don't want to resort to any Cosmo-type BS or manipulation... the whole thing is incredibly frustrating to me at this point. I feel a bit at a loss.

In our society there really is a prevailing negative attitude towards marriage, with women seeking it seen as trying to "trap" her man into staying with her. I know that, to some extent this what my mom did giving my dad an ultimatum and which would explain why he was always somewhat resentful about their marriage which lead to divorce... yada yada yada.
The "man-trapper" is seen everywhere in our media: Charlotte on Sex and the City, who knows how many ridiculous romantic comedies, etc. So, it is understandable why so many of our men fear and dread marriage. Not to mention how the typical married man is portrayed: dumb, fat, balding, nagged by his wife, his only refuge the BBQ in the back or beers with the boys. Doesn't really look like much fun.
This is pretty unfortunate for us ladies, because when we bring up the marriage idea, these images are quickly brought to mind, no matter that they don't necessarily have any basis in reality. I do want to get married someday, but I feel almost ashamed in admitting this because it is so "typical" and "pedestrian" and what kind of a feminist am I. It's almost like I feel this need to proclaim to the world (and my partner) that I'm not like "those" women who pine after the ring and house and kids and will buy, borrow and beg their way into getting them. It's frustrating that wanting any of these things has such a stigma associated with it. Anyone picking up what I'm putting down?
I understand what you're saying, themieu. I've never understood the notion that a person can't be married and be a feminist. I can love someone and be a feminist. I can have a healthy relationship with someone and be a feminist. Indeed, I think feminism is a vital ingredient in my marriage. We respect one another as equal partners in this relationship. We bring different things to this relationship, but that's what makes it work.
i was hoping you folks had some feedback for me?
my guy and i have talked about getting married....yet he hates it when i'm pmsing and worries that he'll be stuck with a ranting evil woman - esp when i'm pregnant.
unfortunately, there's not much that will stop pmsing and i'm at the point where i'm almost pushing him away, because i'm like, why get attached to someone who does not really want to marry you/share a life.
<sigh> i'm trying to not be self defeating but frankly, my exbf from college told me once (when we were breaking up) that no one would ever love me. sometimes i can't help but think he was right!
thanks for listening,
Double post! I really have no idea what happened....
I'm sorry you are going through that, it sounds pretty rough. When you say PMSing, what do you mean? How intense and for how long does it occur? I it's only a day or two a month, that doesn't really seem too bad. Also, are you on hormonal BC? I have to say, my life totally changed when I stopped taking hormones. Not only was I more pleasant to be around, but I felt a million times more alive.
That being said, if you (and others) feel like the pmsing is not really so bad, then it might be that he is using this as an excuse to put all of his frustrations into. If thats the case, it would help to get to the root of the problem and see if there is anything there to work with.
I'm not an expert, but someone in the Natural-ly Woman thread might have an idea on how to manage PMS naturally, if the problem is not related to BC. Also, tracking your cycle and being aware of when you will be pmsing might help you realize why you are feeling the way you are and take things in perspective and also warn your partner that you might be off the next few days.
As far as what your ex said, don't pay any attention to it. First off, we said all kinds of horrible things while breaking up especially to get a specific reaction. We also change very much over time, and with each relationship. I would probably bet that the way you interact with your current bf is different than your ex. DON'T take it to heart. Not helpful. I have so been there and it's an easy path to go down. But it really won't make the situation any better.

Good luck hun!
thanks. things are a little better. apparently i'm gun-shy because my exfiance and i had some things worked out re: our marriage, then everything unraveled. my current bf said he wanted to get married just not we have plenty of time to explore options on where to live (he's in VA, i'm in MD), since we're not changing jobs.
as far as pmsing, i'm going to finally have to ask my doc to do something....unfortunately his only option is to put me on birth control pills - which makes the pms worse ironically. my cycle seems to be changing now, and becoming longer, which may take away some of the pms (one year, i get it every month, next year - every 6 weeks ,the next year, every other month, and finally, every 3 months. apparently i'm going to every 6 weeks to 2 months now....) i've noticed the emotional pms lasts almost 2 weeks. bloating (i blow up like a tick! no matter how much water or fiber i have) is for about a week. food cravings (cod bless fried chicken) is for about a week.
it totally sucks that there is nothing on the market!
themeiu, I am totally picking you what you're putting down. Yes. Roseviolet is right, too- I don't think wanting to get married equates to not being a feminist.

p_176, all my life up until I went on the pill I had completely irregular periods, too. One thing I love about being on the pill is that I know when I will next get my period. SO much less nerve-wracking! (though i still feel like there has GOT to be a better option. I hate the idea of the hormones I'm ingesting every month, for years on end.) And I am gunshy about making a plan for the future, too- even though these are things that I want. Just looking for some balance, argh!
re: marriage stigmas - i totally agree. i watch those shows like, these couples are NOT couples that should be emulated because their level of communication is so horrible. obviously when a couple gets married and has children, time spent with the guys, or the girls, is limited - but it does not mean it has to stop! and it frustrates me that so many people think that being in a relationship means you lose everything else - not true!
how can we change this? <scratches head>

girl my pms is so hard on our relationship as well. I'm going through it right now and it sucks. I feel actual rage. Mr. Pugs just acts like his normal self but everything he does drives me insane. Today I called him an asshole flat out. Last night and last Friday I freaked out on two seperate occasions and he had to put my attitude in check in front of people. I was embarrased but to be honest both times he was absolutely right and I was just being a bitch.

Today I tried to put a lot of effort into getting my house clean. I find that if I spend all day doing nothing when I'm pmsing when he finally gets home I'm wrapped so tight that I sort of overwhelm him. So I just spent the last hour cleaning our bedroom. Now I have like four loads of laundry to fold. After that I'm going to cook dinner, clean the kitchen, bake our new neighboors a loaf of chocolate chip bread and then go to bed. I'm trying to stay busy and stay away from him because I know my mood swings are bad. I'm hoping he'll just sort of play playstation all night and stay away from me like I'm staying away from him. A kiss good night will do for me and neither of us will say or do anything we'll regret when my pms passes. I know all of this might sound a bit extreme but it's the only way I know how to deal with it. I hated being on birth control and I won't do that to myself again. So if it means us semi-ignoring each other for a week out of the month then so be it.'s keeps the peace right? RIGHT!!

Good luck,

p_176, it sounds to me like it would be worthwhile if your doctor did a lot more than just put you on birth control. If you feel like there's womething else going on and you need further testing, fight for it. Find a different gynecologist if you have to. I'm serious. A decade ago I had some health problems and I knew in my gut that my doctor wasn't taking me seriously. Luckily, I found another doctor who listened to me and with his help, I got a diagnosis and proper treatment. I'm 1000 times better now than I was then. Not perfect, but much better.
maybe it's thyroid. i have no idea. my office is generally warm, but there are times where i'm warm (sweaty), and folks sitting near me are complaining it's chilly. ugh. i'll see the dr tomorrow for my annual; i'll let you know what happens.
*Cross posted form LTAS*

I need to rant, and if anyone can give me advice, I'll take it.

The Missus and I have been going through a dry spell. I ask her why she doesn't want to have sex and she just shrugs. So tonight I lose it, because I have just been turned down for the umpteenth time. I'm glad she doesn't force herself and I'm glad she can say no. She doesn't seem to care however to find out the reason for not wanting to have sex. The big problem comes when I become humiliated for being rejected and if I act disappointed she feels guilty. So, I have to hold in the rejection, frustration, and resentment to save her feelings. If I show any of those emotions I end up feeling like an asshole who is trying to guilt her into having sex with me, which is not what I want to do. Frankly, I'd rather be lonely than feel like an asshole. Right now I just want to go apartment hunting.

this makes me think of lesbian bed death. I'm just wondering if this is the beginning of the end.
DesChatsRouge, sounds like you and AAGirl have a lot in common. sad.gif

It's true that she may not care about finding out what the problem is. However, there's also a chance that she's afraid to find out what the problem is. A low or non-existent libido is NOT fixed easily. It takes a lot of time and effort and the stress she's already feeling is bound to get worse and worse as she works through this. That's true whether the low libido is tied to a medical or mental or issue. It's far from fun. Even with all of that work, that doesn't always make things better. Her libido may never fully recover.

I remember back when my ex and I used to argue because my libido had all but disappeared. I had some medical problems involving my reproductive system, but I had problems with depression, too (and top that off with communication problems within our relationship). My ex would try to get me to come around by asking me about my sexual fantasies. Well, I didn't have any. Sex wasn't a part of my day-to-day thoughts. He would then feel frustrated and angry with me, which just made me feel like more of a freak. His attempts to arrouse me just pointed out over and over again how weird and fucked up I was. When he got angry for me for not even fantasizing, I felt as though he may as well have been angry at me for not thinking about rainbow-striped zebras. How could I possibly help it if my mind didn't spontaneously think about rainbow-striped zebras all on its own? It just didn't! And in the same way, sexual fantasies just never popped into my imagination.

All of this is to say that a low libido affects a person on a very very very deep level ... usually an unconscious level. The very idea of addressing an issue that deep is terrifying for most people.

Now, does that mean that she should ignore this? No. Because it could be tied to a physical illness that needs attention or extreme stress that could lead to dangerous depression or any number of other things. But the bottom line is that it's still her life and it's her body and there's no way to address this until she's ready to deal with it.

So you can encourage her to go to a doctor (and be super duper supportive through it all). Or you can ask her to go to counseling with you. Or you can be like AAGirl and start going to therapy on your own & hope she'll join you someday. Or you can accept her as she is and find other solutions to keep you sexually satisfied. Or you can do something else. I wish it were easier than this - believe me, I do. It isn't easy for anyone involved.
(((deschatsrouge))) sorry to hear things are rough in your relationship. my exgf and i hit the lesbian death bed towards the end of our relationship. it has alot to do with the ending of our relationship....i was just done. our problems were reflected in our sex life...or lack thereof. i think rose bring up a great point about couples therapy or individual therapy.
special k
I think low libido is a really tough problem, and one I was in a while ago. My libido had crashed with my ex, there was almost nothing he could do to fix it at the end. I felt like I just needed my own personal space. In truth, it was mostly problems outside of the bedroom that led to it, and what I now realise is my inability to communicate how I really felt about myself and our relationship. Not a good way to be, and was something I wasn’t aware of doing, it ended up killing our relationship. I left him but felt ashamed for letting it deteriorate to the point where I was no longer in love with him and saw myself on a different path to him, The most painful thing about leaving was having to break his heart, because I still cared about him deeply. Rose has good advice.

I guess there's some connection to what I came to ask... I’m going through a process of improving communication with my man at the moment. I’m the one with the problems, not him (so it's not just guys with this issue). I’m pretty certain it contributed significantly to the downfall of my last long term relationship, I just wasn’t aware of it. It seems to be this fairly straightforward thing that you assume you’re doing, but it’s far from the truth. Everytime we get to spend some time together (we’re 10 months now but all long-distance) it’s very intense and physical. I have never been an extrovert and am generally pretty shy and quiet, and I should be able to relax and not have those fears around him, right?. But to him I’m not really 'being myself', he feels like a shut him off and become distant. It’s been hard because he doesn’t like having to point it out to me, and I get upset because it ends up sounding like I don’t care or aren’t interested. We love each other and want this relationship to continue, and I think after the last time it came up, something clicked and I have a better idea of the things he wants from me. But it’s still something habitual (to keep my thoughts to myself) so it’s really hard work at the moment, but not without cause or benefit! I’m actually getting nervous about seeing him again because I want to see if I’m ‘better’. I want to improve this, not just for our relationship but to help myself as well. Especially because we’re going to be apart for another few months (he’s moving further away overseas) and then in each other’s pockets (I’m hoping to join him as soon as I get work), and we both really want this to work.

Has anyone else gone through communication problems, any tips for maintaining good communication? I know it seems like the bleeding obvious, what could be harder than talking? … so I appreciate your advice.

Special k, the short answer is communicating well with your other half takes time and a lot of practice. Even now the mr and I still duck talking about things that are bothering us, and then they build up so that when we do eventually address issues we get emotional or angry. For starters, I guess I'd suggest being aware of how you're communicating and try and catch yourself when your impulse is to hold back or let an opening pass.

I was/am broadly similar to how you describe yourself; I'm pretty private and like to mull things over. The mr is also reserved and feels we Americans can over-talk things (he may be right, but the two of us sure aren't guilty of this huh.gif ) I can still feel very vulnerable when I'm trying to bring up something really important to me, for instance.

However, over time and with practice communication gets better, not least because you begin to know each other more and have an idea of how the other might respond. Ultimately though, all you can ever do is speak as honestly as you can from your perspective; if you need to repeat yourself or have what feels like the same discussion over and over, well, whatever works.

I doubt this is much help; suffice to say I do empathise.
{{{specialk}}} I wish I had a great response but I really don't know. Sorry.
{{{deschatrouge}}} I have to support the idea of couples counseling. Maybe it wouldn't have to be a long term type thing. It could be that a few sessions will help you both get to the root of the problem. Good luck.

I have kind of a story that I wanted to share. As I have mentioned here, I am bothered by the fact that I haven't met my boyfriend's parents. Next week, it will have been 7 months that we've been together and his folks live about 20 minutes away from my place by bus. However, I kind of let that particular issue drop, figuring, "his parents, his decision." I have, however, made the connection b/w his (admitted) reluctance to introducing us and a few other things that have been upsetting me lately. Such as his resistance to celebrating our six-month anniversary even though we both agreed to and the fact that he never compliments me about my apperance. I swear, it is getting to the point that I was wondering if he thought I was at all attractive to him.

So, this all kind of came to a head this week. He admitted that even though we had talked about it he really didn't want to celebrate our anniversary. It wasn't a big deal to him. I told him that it was important to me and I would like him to appreciate that fact. After thinking bout it for a few days I wrote him and email explaing what my fear were. Did the fact that he never complimented me and seemed to get a little tense if I tried to make actual plans with him (as opposed to saying "Someday we should...") mean that he was ready to end things or something. He responded that he still doesn't know what he feels about me. Is he in love with me? Does he think that he ever will be in love with me? He felt that if he complimented me or agreed to make a big deal about the anniversary it would give me false hope about things that he just doesn't know. I kind of called bullshit on that argument, pointing out that wether we celebrate it or not, we have been together over 6 months and all I was asking for was a nice dinner not a dimond ring and a promise of forever. As for the compliments thing, he said he would try harder because his reason for holding back was his own issues about us.

Last night we went to a b-day party for a friend of his. I kind of went into the night annoyed with him and seriously wondering where my end line was going to be. I almost hit it when we met up and I told him he looked nice and he just said, "Thanks." No comment on how I was looking even though I had spent some time getting ready and I looked really good! I had a good time at the party but I wasn't in the mood to be sweet and cuddly with him. My body language was cutting him off. Even though I swear I wasn't doing it for any reason but because I was annoyed, he found all of that annoyingly appealing and he started being really cuddly with me. So I warmed up to him. Then at the end of the party he unintentionally said something that really hurt my feelings. I waited till we got home to let it all out. And it all came out.

I have no idea what will happen next. We were better this morning and I was too tired to talk about anything. I want some time and space from all of this. I was very clear that some of the behavior was the kind of stuff that I wasn't sure if I could live with on a long-term basis. We have some upcoming plans and then after that, well I guess we will see. I need a man who actually wants me in his life and he needs to decide if he wants to be that person.

Now, in the interest of proving the gods' have a sense of humor, after he left today I heard his cell phone ring. When I found it I recognized the name on his screen as his mom's. I answered, assuming it was him calling to locate his phone. It was his mom, calling to let her sons know she was going to be late for Mother's Day brunch. The last thing she said to me was, "I hope we get to meet soon!"

Ah, irony.

Sorry for the book that I have written here. rolleyes.gif
QUOTE(kittenb @ May 11 2008, 04:51 PM) *
I need a man who actually wants me in his life and he needs to decide if he wants to be that person.

well kittenb, if you feel a man is not treating you the way you feel you should be treated, then i think you need to think about if this dude is someone you want to be with right now. i'm sure he is a good guy, but if you are not feeling it, then you can't make it be that way. and the goal shouldn't be meeting his parents. which i know it is not for you. it seems like his ambivalence is a big sign. 6 months seems like more than enough time.

hope this helps. (((kittenb)))
Thanks star. His ambivalence is a huge sign. That is what started the whole conversation. That and the realization that I was giving way more than was asked for and making myself very unhappy while doing it.

Right now I am just wanting to step back a little. We have some upcoming plans which I am excited about but I need more time with myself as well.

I guess I will see what happens.
kittenb, i think it's super important to have your own stuff going on, and to have ME time as well. I know it's important for me and for my relationship and yet it's somehow something that I have to continually remind myself to do. A friend pointed out recently that no decisions need to be made at the time of the issue- so your decision to see what happens is a good one, I think. Be sure to take care of yourself in all this; it's easy for that to get lost.
QUOTE(special k @ May 11 2008, 07:27 AM) *
Has anyone else gone through communication problems, any tips for maintaining good communication? I know it seems like the bleeding obvious, what could be harder than talking? … so I appreciate your advice.

I think when Mr. Pugs and I were having "communication problems" it was most of the time MY problem. I mean Mr. Pugs will sit down and talk about something but really for only about 20 minutes max. I try to say what I think is important to me and I let him say what he needs to say and if we don't agree I try to let it go and if we agree then I feel good about it and again let it go.

For example, we were talking about having or not having children in our future. We had always said we wanted children. I have always wanted children. Many of our friends have or are getting ready to have children. This being the situation we have been spending a lot more time around children. Many of our friends are really bad parents. They are way to young and IMO and Mr. Pug's opinion they have made a lot of mistakes. I think with Mr. Pugs seeing this it has really scared him and made him uneasy about someday having children. I mean he hasn't said, "No, I don't want children." but it seems to me that is the path he is starting to go down. This bothers me deeply. I want at least one child. I always have. I thought he did as well. Now his mind set seems to be changing because he is seeing all of our friends fucking up as parents. So of course him telling me this just really upset me. I mean I just wanted to cry right there in the car as we were driving. As I was talking and trying to get into his head to figure out why he feels this way I could see him just pulling back. I mean he was all "focused on the road" and listening to the music. He'd stopped nodding at my comments and responding about ten minutes before and here I was just talking away. I actually stopped and said, "Are you tired of this conversation?"

He said, "Yeah, pretty much."

So I just summed up with, "So this isn't you saying you don't want children. This is you saying that you have some reservations and we'll see what happens in the future right?" He said yes and I dropped it. I desperately wanted to keep probing and discussing but it would have turned into an arguement. It's still really bothering me but he loves me and I don't think he would take something like motherhood away from me because he has reservations. We, the both of us, will come to some sort of decision about this in our future. I'm not going to leave him if he doesn't want to have kids and I don't think he'd leave me if I had my heart set on a baby. What will we do? I have no idea but we still have plenty of time to decide. It's not a race right? I'm only 26 and he's 28. We'll figure it out eventually. We love each other and that's all that matters.
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ May 13 2008, 02:46 AM) *
What will we do? I have no idea but we still have plenty of time to decide. It's not a race right? I'm only 26 and he's 28. We'll figure it out eventually. We love each other and that's all that matters.

pugs i think you are absolutely right, i had always wanted kids and to be a mother, and at first when we started discussing it, my bf was kind of ambivalent - i think we had both sort of taken it for granted that we would, and moving from that to actually thinking it through seriously felt quite scary. I remember when he was musing over whether he actually wanted kids being really freaked out, but trying not to show it. It felt like a total curveball. My instinct was to totally freak out and start setting ultimatums and stuff, but i resisted the urge and just shelved the issue.

It wasn't long after that (maybe a year?) that we actually started trying for a baby, and it really was a decision we came to together, and he is really excited and supportive now i'm knocked up. i think he just needed the time and space to process it by himself rather than just fall into something that momentous without really thinking it through first.

In fact, without sounding too calculating, while i tend to have quite fixed ideas about things, i often find it is more effective to raise something and then leave it be - rather than backing him into a corner and putting him on the defensive, it gives him the space to come to a decision by himself. Not that i always live up to this aim, but when i do, it's good!
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ May 13 2008, 02:46 AM) *
I don't think he would take something like motherhood away from me because he has reservations. We, the both of us, will come to some sort of decision about this in our future. I'm not going to leave him if he doesn't want to have kids and I don't think he'd leave me if I had my heart set on a baby.


pugs, from somebody who has had to come to terms over the last year with the fact that her significant other doesn't want to have children, let me tell you that I know how you're feeling and I can imagine some of the things that are going through your head just now. However, the above part of your post set alarm bells ringing for me. A lot of what you say is positive and, yes, if you love one another then most of the time everything else is surmountable but to have children or not is quite the deal breaker. I'm not trying to make this a big issue for you or say that you should split up just because you currently feel differently because that may all change in a few years and it may all be hypothetical anyway but what do you mean by "I don't think he would take something like motherhood away from me" and "I don't think he'd leave me if I had my heart set on a baby"? If Mr Pugs (and let us pretend he doesn't post here because I don't want to put words in his mouth or presuppose his actions) does decide that he doesn't want children then do you still expect him to go ahead and raise children because that's what you want? To a certain extent I can see where you are coming from but from what you have said it sounds as if you are saying that you wouldn't leave him if he didn't want children -making a conscious choice on your part not to have children- but that he wouldn't leave you if you did, which would mean that he would be having children that he didn't want (initially or for the length of his/their lives). Do you see my point? There is a huge difference between deciding not to have children because that's what your partner wants and deciding to have a child because that's what your partner wants, the latter involving another life. I know this is a huge, heartbreaking potentiality and I know how difficult it is to give up a dream that you have always had, to even contemplate doing so, but I'm concerned for you and I think you need to evaluate your feelings. Yes, this may all be a moot point and Mr Pugs' reservations may fade but I think you should prepare yourself for them not. I don't want to scaremonger you but I've been there and for a few years I thought that the boy would change his mind when he was older (and hey he may still) but in the last year he was really straight with me and said that I had to prepare myself for his feelings not changing. That was huge for me and I struggled with a lot of ambivalent emotions but, in the end, choosing between the man I love and having potential children wasn't a choice at all; at first I thought I was sacrificing motherhood for him but I realised that I couldn't view it on those terms and that it was actually a road we were travelling down together, I just had to choose whether to go with him or go on my own path.
to clear up my previous post which i'm sure was confusing (it came from my head so why wouldn't it be). i would be prepared to not have children if he decided for sure that he didn't want them.
Goals. ARGH! I gave a up a really great guy once because we didn't have the same goals. We were both 26 & he wanted to get married & start a family after two years together. And that's not what I wanted. Not because we were too young, or he was the wrong guy or that we'd be bad parents. I simply have no desire to sprout crotchfruit (Nor can I, health issues. My womb is like the Sahara.) or have the state approve my 'ship. I expressed this as carefully & kindly as I could & we talked about it. He thought I'd change my mind, I told him that wasn't going to happen. He held out hope, though & I eventually broke his heart. Twenty bones says that right now he has a lovely wife & wee bairns. And I think that's great.

And most young parents are shite. You can read as many books as you like, but when faced with the real thing it can be daunting. I raised three kids as a nanny & even with training it is trial by error/fire. When my friends started having kids I was horrified by some of the choices they made, but since I don't actually have kids of my own I held my tongue. They always say that people that don't have children are always experts because they don't deal with the day to day realities of being responsible for another life.

Besides, isn't it every parent's job to fuck up their kids? I mean, introduce me somebody that wasn't fucked up by their parents & I'll introduce you to somebody that has lived a hermetically sealed life. (Which is fucked up in itself.) Their goal is to fuck us up *just* enough that we can function in "normal" society, but not so much that we turn into Charles Manson.

ETA, I forgot that I came in here for a reason! I've never done a LDR like this. I miss him SOOOO much. Seeing him once a month just isn't enough. We talk, we IM, we send each other little gifts. But I don't expect to be out of here until Jan '09. That's eight months of not being able to just reach over & grab him & molest him. I now regret not sucking it up more when we tried to live together. I'd give up everything for him to be under my feet & driving me crazy again.
Kitten, how are things going? Have you and the boy talked? I think that if you want to meet his parents and his parents want to meet you, then he really needs to address why this hasn't happened yet. Personally, I think he just needs to get over himself and allow you all to meet. It would be one thing if he didn't have a relationship with them or if they lived far away, but that isn't the case. After all of this time, he needs to stop hiding them from you.

Special K, communicating openly with a partner is very hard to do for the first time. It isn't just talking - opening your mouth and allowing words to fall out. It's more like inviting him into your soul, opening up the door to your Closet of Secrets, and showing him your skeleton collection. It's not easy to do this at first. The fear of rejection can be overwhelming, but the rewards can be huge. My husband and I both had some big, scary stories from our past that we didn't feel comfortable talking about, but we encouraged eachother to open up. It wasn't always easy - some stories are hard to tell and some stories are hard to hear - but we felt much closer afterwards. We've worked together to help overcome some of those problems, too, so that's great. Our willingness to be honest & vulnerable with one another really brought us closer.

As for the kid thing ...
This is something I've ben battling with in my own mind lately. Sheff and I both say that we would like to have one child - a daughter - but we don't feel like we want to do it yet. That's not good because time is ticking away. I'm 33 & Sheff turns 40 next year. Plus, I have endometriosis (an illness involving the reproductive system that often leads to infertility, although I still seem to be fertile right now) so our opportunities dwindle more and more as time goes by. I'm not sure what's holding us back. I think part of it is that we're actually rather happy with our lives right now and we don't want to change anything. Babies change everything and that lasts forever so I feel like I should desperately want to have a baby if we're going to go for it, but I don't desperately want a baby. I like our quiet, lazy life. Why would I want to throw it all into chaos? Sheff feels the same way. We talk about having a baby, but we talk about it in the same way we might talk about taking a vacation to New Zealand: all fantasy, but no real concrete planning because the desire isn't strong enough to act.

Also, Sheff strongly prefers having a daughter. He truly does not like the idea of having a son. He gives the impression that he'd rather be child-free than have a boy. He says he doesn't know how he'd be able to relate to a boy growing up in America. There are a thousand holes that can be punched through that argument, but let's not get into it because ... I'll be honest. I'd prefer a daughter, too. We've picked out a name and everything. But Sheff feels so strongly about this that he has suggested we adopt to avoid the risk of having a boy. However, I'd like to try to give birth to my own child. Part of that is because of the reproductive issues I've had, I admit. It's also that desire to have a child that is a blend of the two of us - someone with our temperment, our eyes, hopefully Sheff's dimples, all of that. If I can give birth to my own baby, that's what I'd prefer to do. But he isn't sure. So here we are, unable to even decide how we'll get our hands on a baby in the first place, let alone when or how we'll afford it or all of the 10 billion things that come along with kids. Or even if this is something we really really want to do in the first place. It's a big ol' barrel of indecision.

Mr Pugs
I think part of it is that we're actually rather happy with our lives right now and we don't want to change anything. Babies change everything and that lasts forever so I feel like I should desperately want to have a baby if we're going to go for it, but I don't desperately want a baby. I like our quiet, lazy life. Why would I want to throw it all into chaos? Sheff feels the same way. We talk about having a baby, but we talk about it in the same way we might talk about taking a vacation to New Zealand: all fantasy, but no real concrete planning because the desire isn't strong enough to act.

Get out of my head It seems that is part of it for me, another part of it is what pugs said before about our parent-friends being shitty parents. Even the friends who are good parents and have good kids, the ankle biters get on my nerves. They posted a video of their kids having a good time yelling in the kitchen. I don't know if I could take that. I doubt my patience with raising a child, and being the namesake in the family doesn't seem like it's a good enough reason to bring a human into this crazy world, nor does showing them what disicipline and attention does for a kid.

Mr. Pugs
roseviolet - things are kind of at a holding place, I guess. Tonight we are going to a concert (DURAN DURAN!!! Does it count as cheating if Simon LeBon insists he must have sex with me in order to stay talented?) This Saturday we are finally having the dinner that I asked for ages ago. He wanted to get together this Friday as well but In said I wanted to be by myself that night. Next week I am out of town for three days and then busy the fourth night so I can't see him much anyway. I swear I am not trying to play games in any malicious way but I feel that I have made myself very available and maybe that needs to change. After all, as the saying goes, how can I miss you if you never go away? And I need the same distance to clarify my own feelings. So I am taking it.

I don't know if this is the best thing to do but it is the only thing I can do right now. Feeling like I'm jumping up and down screaming "Like me! Like me!" is just making me crazy.
I actually came in to say I waited on 3 of Duran Duran years ago. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor. Simon Le Bon was tall and JT was hot. He looked at me, said 'Can I ask you a question?' then said 'No, never mind.' ARGH! (ETA: We had already discussed the menu, so he wasn't asking about the specials. or maybe he was. Wishful thinking, much?)

Kitten, I think it's great you're taking action of your own. Even if you happen to be out of town for reasons unrelated to the boy, it's no harm to shake things up a bit. I always get a good, fresh perspective from being away too, even if it's just for a few days.

The kids thing... I may be too tired to post much now. The mr has one already who now lives with us. When we got engaged, one of the first things I said was that I was fairly sure I didn't want to have a baby. He knew this already but as we were officially in it for the long haul I thought it best to be absolutely clear. He's cool with this, largely because he already has a child.

Living with a kid has consolidated my choice not to have a child. I like his kid and I think we all pull it together well, but a lot of the stuff around taking care of kids is just mundane as hell. There are cool moments, certainly, but there's a lot of planning and other annoyances, such as the mr and I can only travel during the school holidays now, when prices go right up. There's bigger issues out there, but having kids around really restricts you in all kinds of ways.

And don't even get me started on what it does to your sex life...
Sybarite, I'm with you. For years I have been absolutely positive that I wanted to have kids and only recently have started to feel that I'm not sure at all. The bf has a six year old son who's with us every other weekend and some occasional weeknights, and right now that feels pretty great. We get to hang out, he and I have a good relationship, but in the end, he goes back to his mom and the bf and I resume our normal (?) life together. A few friends have started to have kids over the last few years (I'm 29, the bf is 37), and I'm noticing that their lives simply become all about the kids. Makes total sense, and I imagine mine would, too, if I had kids- but since I already feel like women get the short end of the stick with marriage, I'm not so sure that this is an endeavor I'm prepared for. Not at this point, anyway. The way RoseViolet put it- desperately wanting a kid- is how I think I should feel, too, if I am going to change my life in that way. Not to mention being able to take care of and be a good parent for a kid (which obviously I would like to do). I mentioned this to my mom on the phone the other day, and there was a long silence. Then she said: Can you call 911? Ha, Mom, very funny.

kittenb- taking the time for yourself can only be a good thing. Perspective and a bit of peace. Ahhh.
I've been off for a couple of weeks due to work and then going on vacation. I will definitely read through the more recent posts and comment soon as I owe this board.

For now I wanted to report that my guy has come back to me. Like a flower back in bloom at Spring. Ok, sorry, that is SUPER corny. But it's kinda beautiful and amazing. To recap: we weren't having sex, for like a month and he wouldn't go to therapy. So, we go on vacation and we have lots of sex but it's not super hot or anything, in fact, it's kinda fast. So we come home and i'm thinking, 'ok, he lost his passion for me. Can I deal with that?'

So the other night he made me dinner and was making out w/me and being very kind and I thought it was nice that he was in a good mood and didn't think beyond that. He told me he loved me w/such conviction that my body flushed - like a big blush. And then he made love to me and it was passionate and hot and amazing. After he told me that he was sorry that he's been treating me like "shit" and that he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life w/me and he going to act that way. We both cried. I didn't think he was treating me like shit, I just thought things changed for him. But him saying that put into perspective that I wasn't crazy or fucked up for wanting more sex from him. I guess the treating me like shit thing is more along the lines of the fights we had about it.

Anyway, things are going really well. I'm cautiously optimistic. I've never been w/someone who said things would change and then actually managed to change things for the better. I do think he's the one. Life is glorious.

(Still going to therapy, though)

Thanks all. More soon!

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