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Old 07-25-2010, 10:27 AM   #1
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boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Hi everyone, this will be my first post here. I have a couple of things I would like to address and am really hoping for some good, honest answers. I am trying to understand my boyfriend, I'm not really looking for a "you should leave him" type answer. Ok first off, my boyfriend and I have been together for almost half a year, he is a recovering alcoholic and drug user so I understand that he is not quite in a place yet to think too much about other peoples feelings other than his own.

In a nut shell: he wants to have me as his girlfriend, yet he wants to be able to sleep with other women on the side. I'm completely in love with this guy at this point, and very confused. We've had these really intimate moments before, and I thought we were both on the same page..but apparently not. He tells me he only wants to sleep with other women for physical reasons. I'm trying my hardest to convince myself that it doesn't mean that I'm not desirable, and it doesn't mean that I'm not enough for him, and it doesn't mean that he will leave me...but this is a hard thing to convince myself. It really hurts me.

Second thing, he is SO honest about everything, but sometimes his honestly hurts! I asked him the other day if he thought I was pretty (because he rarely compliments me) and he said yes. Then I asked if he thought I was gorgeous... he said "no". This made me angry - obviously. I asked him why not and he just said gorgeous is for girls that are models etc..

What am I supposed to think of this comment? This makes me feel very undesired by him. It makes me feel like ****. I think I'm a pretty attractive women, and I know that other people do too..but I cant get over the fact that he doesn't think I'm the best. So I need some advice, how can I feel adequate and feel confident enough with myself so that what other people think doesn't matter?

Last edited by searching4truth; 07-25-2010 at 10:29 AM.

 
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

I'm not sure how to advise you on achieving better self esteem...that's something that needs to be your own personal journey. You have to admit, "gorgeous" is a VERY strong word. Would you prefer that your boyfriend lie to you? A better question might even be, "if your boyfriend said you WERE gorgeous, would that make it true to you"?
You need to consider whether or not you want a boyfriend who is not monogamous.
Considering that you have poor self esteem to begin with, I can only imagine the heartache you will face, knowing that someone you love is being sexual with other women.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

One of my ex boyfriends was exactly the same way regarding compliments. I tossed that thought at him once that a compliment didn't cost him anything so why was he so cheap about giving them. Eventually I came to realize it was because I was, to him, only good enough. He wasn't trying to woo me. In fact, he was wanting to keep me in the game but at arm's length. He wanted me far enough away emotionally that I clearly got the message that I was temporary. In our first year together we were both in it just for the fun we were having. So it was into the second year before I noticed these things and then it ended. It ended pretty peacefully. I'm not looking for marriage and I'm too old for kids, but I just didn't want to be in a situation that bred inner turmoil in me. But it took a few months for me to fall out of love with him to let it drift away.

It sounds, with the way you describe the situation, that this is similar and that you are good enough. Good enough to have as regular but not good enough to consume him. Good enough to care about some but not good enough to love.

Actually I don't think you need to leave him. As long as you are careful and don't do anything stupid like bring a baby into the situation to try and snag him for keeps, there's no reason to rush off. Eventually you will fall out of love with him and it will be easier to just let it end.

And that thing about feeling adequate and confident. You will. Once this has run it's course.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Why do are you committed to staying with him? He doesn't want a relationship right now. He just wants to play the field, which in his circumstance with still being in recovery is a very bad idea. One of the cardinal rules for any drug/alcohol recovery treatments is to not get involved with anyone until the person is strong enough to have triumphed over their addiction. It sounds to me like he just traded a drug and alcohol addiction for a sex addiction. Do you honestly want to settle for a sex addict? That doesn't sound like much fun.

The only way an open relationship can work is if both people are in favor of it. Otherwise it's just flat out cheating. He wants to do it but you don't. That means that it will not work at all. Not only is it going to further effect your self-esteem problems but it will also make you more susceptible to STDs. Condoms protect against many of them but not ALL. You can still get several that are incurable (like herpes and HPV). Do you want to expose yourself to that danger? If you stay with him and allow him to sleep around, that's what will happen.

I don't understand why so many women out there are willing to settle for so much less than what they deserve for guys that are beneath them. Getting together with a former cheater or someone who has addiction problems is a guaranteed depressing experience. I don't see anything good coming out of this, in fact I only see your personal self-image problems becoming much worse if you stay with him. Doesn't your well-being mean anything? Isn't your happiness worth anything to you? It sounds like you don't love yourself enough to find a mutually respectful relationship.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Are you ok with him sleeping with other women? Be honest. If you are not ok, then you only have one other choice which is to leave him. If you can say honestly that you are ok with it and you really won't mind at all, then stay. There isn't any way for you to "learn" to be ok with it, you are or you aren't. You can't make yourself.

I agree that he only sees you as being "ok" for now, but that he thinks he can do better. Probably why he wants to sleep around while he still has you, so that when he finds someone he thinks is "gorgeous" he can dump you, but until then he has you as a backup plan, someone to be there for sure in case he can't find someone else to sleep with that day. Once again, if you are totally fine with that, then there is not a problem. Don't lie to yourself or to him, if it's not ok then tell him you are not ok with it and see what he says.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 01:19 PM   #6
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

It's pretty simple, your problem isnt your lack of confidence....it's your lack of taste in the company your keeping. Get rid of the "mean guy", and I think you will very quickly find a huge boost to your self confidence. Either that, or try bashing him back for a change, and see where that leads you. I sure as heck wouldn't sit there and take that though. I used to, and I felt like dirt, and hurt, and insecure. Once I challenged back, I felt a little stronger, and so on until I finally tossed my "mean guy". Today, I am much more content with the person I have become. Good luck!

Last edited by justmel30; 07-25-2010 at 01:24 PM.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by searching4truth View Post
This makes me feel very undesired by him. It makes me feel like sh*t. I think I'm a pretty attractive women, and I know that other people do too..but I cant get over the fact that he doesn't think I'm the best. So I need some advice, how can I feel adequate and feel confident enough with myself so that what other people think doesn't matter?
Well, this isn't what you want to hear, but I'm sorry, it's the truth. You will never feel adequate or confident while you're trying to hang onto a relationship with a man who doesn't think you're anything special, especially while you're sitting at home knowing he's off having sex with some other woman, freaking out about whether she's prettier than you, or whether he'll fall for her like he can't seem to fall for you, especially sitting at home because he wants you home and staying away from other men while he's banging other chicks. You did way open relationship only on HIS end, right?

Here's the thing...there's a line between not caring what others think of you, and just letting someone treat you badly. You've crossed that line. The question now is, what are you going to do about it? That's up to you. If you really want to feel adequate and confident within yourself, the first step is to recognize when someone is treating you with disrespect, and not tolerate it. You teach people how to treat you, and as long as you teach this guy that he can get away with treating you like dirt, he will.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Asking someone if he thinks you are either "pretty" or "gorgeous" (the two opposite ends...one mild and used to avoid specifics and the other over the top),when you think you are attractive, and expecting to hear the over the top evaluation, is asking for a punch in the gut, if you overly emotionally depending on it.
Why not ask if He finds you attractive? He was honest, and would you want him to lie about it?
In regards to having an open relationship, while you want a proper relationship, is something else. People may find their partners attractive and that is one thing, but asking an open relationship is another issue. They may be attracted to their partner but not willing to make a commitment, and using the relationship to get certain needs only.
If he is emotionally unavailable, that says a lot, and that is where the problem lies in my opinion, and not the attractiveness part. He simply can't commit, can't love, is needy, and fears emotions. Going with many people solves the problem for him.
Staying with an emotionally unavailable person, while you are looking for love, is looking for a hearbreak....and that can be more painful then a usual break up, and damaging to your self esteem. If you feel less then what you are through the one sidedness, it will rasp down your esteem to a point of needing a lot of reconstruction. Why you do not want to love yourself enough to leave such a situation before you hurt yourself more, is the question that perhaps you need to ask yourself and come up with a good answer as to what to do.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Within 10 seconds of reading your post only one thing comes to mind:
Acquire some higher asprations for a partner and perhaps maybe yourself, The only person you can fix and improve is yourself. In a perfect world we must not be naive.

 
Old 07-25-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Thank you all so much for the responses. I appreciate no one being to harsh on me about it. I understand that taking the time to sign up here and write the thread obviously means to me there is something very wrong about my situation. I think sometimes we all need to just be convinced by other people as well. Every comment made a lot of sense to me and has been helpful to open my eyes. "Conceptual" you really got it, your comment really affected me. "If he is emotionally unavailable, that says a lot, and that is where the problem lies in my opinion, and not the attractiveness part. He simply can't commit, can't love, is needy, and fears emotions. Going with many people solves the problem for him."

You are 100% right about this. He is totally emotionally unavailable. And maybe now it makes sense why he's said things in the past like "i love you as much as i know how to love". I think due to his past addictions and coping with that, he is unavailable emotionally, and I can't blame him for it.

I so badly wanted this to work, I really do love him. What do you do when your brain tells you to do one thing and you know what the right thing to do is, but your heart tells you another? If taken the proper steps, can't love ever win?

 
Old 07-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #11
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by searching4truth View Post
I so badly wanted this to work, I really do love him. What do you do when your brain tells you to do one thing and you know what the right thing to do is, but your heart tells you another? If taken the proper steps, can't love ever win?
As lovely and romantic as the notion is of love conquering all, the fact is love only works when both parties 1) want it to, and 2) both people are emotionally healthy and willing able to participate in a giving, mutually mature and respectful long term relationship. And he just isn't. As much as you'd like to, you simply can't love for the both of you. You're trying to win a three-legged race with a partner who has a broken leg, and who won't get the leg set and healed.

I struggled with the same question for a long long time. I was so in love with someone who I thought loved me, but it turned out he didn't, and even after he left, even after he married someone else, my heart kept telling me things had turned out wrong and someday it would be fixed. But just because your heart wants something, that doesn't mean it's supposed to happen, it doesn't mean it's right, it doesn't mean it's what is best for you. You can't love him into being healthy and you can't love him into loving you. Your head is there for a reason, and in this situation, even though it's telling you something you don't want to hear because it means sadness, lonely night, and having to get back out there and continue the search, but your head is right on this one.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 06:26 AM   #12
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

always listen to your brain, my dear. Women often follows their hearts because it is almost in our instincts (we are so emotional). However, the brain is always right.

You deserve better, and WILL find it with someone else - who probably thinks you are gorgeous!

As for the open relationship, I would be very worried about diseases and such.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 07:15 AM   #13
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

wow it doesn't sound like he's your "boyfriend"
it sounds like he's your friend with benefits.....and if so, you can have some benefits elsewhere also.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

Well you said you are not necessarily looking for "you should leave him" advice, so waht kind of advice are you looking for? Advice on how to suck it up and deal with a "boyfriend" who wants to sleep around?

What I was most surprised about in your original post was that you are actually more concerned with if he thinks you are pretty and the most attractive (of all the women he wants to sleep with I assume you are comparing yourself), rather than the fact that he actually wants to sleep with other women.

If that is OK with you (is it, really?) that he sleep with other women, then I hope that you are very, very careful and insist he uses condoms with them and with you. Because you are in effect sleeping with all the women he is sleeping with, and everyone else they have been with as well. Kinda gross, huh? be careful.

If you are not OK with his wanting to sleep with other women (and quite honestly I don't know any women who are OK with this) then say so, and stop his nonsense.

You are treated how you allow others to treat you. You can walk way form this is your gut is telling you it doesn't feel right. How can this feel right?

And one more comment....I hope that realize that someday when you find a man who loves you for you, a man who does not dream of being with any other woman, one who respects you, you will find that you will not have that ever present insecurity that makes you question your own attractiveness. I good man who is committed to you will allow you to feel your own beauty without having to question yourself.

Last edited by River rocks; 07-26-2010 at 11:05 AM.

 
Old 07-28-2010, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: boyfriend wants one sided open relationship

I have to take a hard approach to this. No thoughts on IF and emotions..you need to get away from a disease standpoint. There is no way I would sleep with someone without him getting tested for everything, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV. Then wait 3 months for another HIV test because if he slept with someone else the night before you slept with him, it may not show for 3 months.

This is what is advised and of course, no other partners in those 3 months. Condoms can break...you are playing with fire here. Is it worth your death? I have personally known young women, 19, 20 years old who got HIV from their boyfriends. It's more common than you think. My point here is that you can analyze this relationship to death but it doesn't matter. This man is a danger to your health and you have no choice but to say goodbye.

 
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