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I know I know, but please help

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Old 03-14-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
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Question I know I know, but please help

Hi guys and gals

I know people have a lot more serious problems than mine, believe me I know. It seems petty, but there are many other underlying problems I'm experiencing, and since this dinner is the most recent, I thought I'd bring it up. He truly is a wonderful man (then why am I posting you wonder) and very caring, generous and loves me to bits, which is why this has hurt me so much:


My boyfriend*Chris and I have been together for just over a year. We went out for his sister, *Samantha's birthday dinner the other night, with some of her friends. A couple, *Gail & her fiancee *Brandon. One she works with, *Lindsey & then her friend, *Karen & one was a friend of Samantha's from school, *Chantell, who sat next to Chris on his left, I was on his right. Lindsey & Karen were opposite him & me respectively.

My problem or whatever you want to call it, is, that he totally ignored me all night. He chatted to Chantell for quite some time, I don't feel threatened by her, but he was very interested in her new venture & he obviously knows her through his sister having gone to school with her. He is a very inquisitive guy, so I didn't really mind.

But as for Lindsey, she is engaged to someone & we, my bf & I found out (much later, after dinner at this club we went to afterwards) that they had postponed or called off their wedding, but she still wears her engagement ring (more about the ring later), so they are still together & she spoke about him at dinner (ie why he didn't come). Chris is a very friendly person, but not a flirt or chatter-upper.

Anyway, Lindsey started getting "friendly" (not in a physical sense) but just in the way she was with him at dinner. Like Chris was going to order water for the table, he wanted sparkling, but I said to the waiter, "can we make it still?" Chris said he wanted sparkling & then Lindsey pipes up & says "Sparkling". So I just said to the waiter, "Could you bring us a bottle of each please" & Chris looks at me almost confused, I said "compromise" (I was very hurt by this water story). Why didn't Chris take my suggestion, isn't it gentlemanly to take your girlfriend's preference? And who is Lindsey to get involved. I know it was "water for the table", but funny thing is, when the waiter brought the 2 bottles of water, & went around offering the guests water, Lindsey said she didn't want any as she was busy with a drink!!

Chris also usually asks me what I'm having, & he didn't, he didn't even ask me how my meal was once we'd started eating (it was disgusting by the way and I'd last my appetite I think because of this problem and because I'd had a few tit-bits of the complementary starter they put on the table & a stomach ache).

He didn't hold my hand while waiting for the food to arrive/or be ordered, he didn't put a hand on my leg or anything. One of three times he interacted with me was 1) to ask me if I wanted some of his dish, 2) if he could have some of my water (he'd finished the bottle of sparkling all on his own & some still water was left in my glass) and 3) I think he asked if I was ok (maybe he sensed I was quiet all of a sudden. I am generally shy around new people) & I just told him I stomach ache. While we were eating, Lindsey says to Chris "Hows your food Chris?". Then I thought she'd maybe ask me too, just to be polite - and she didn't.

He spoke to Chantell, Samantha (who was next to me at the head of the table), Gail, Brandon, Lindsey - not to me. But it's not like he was talking to the table at large, he was quite pointed in his chatter to people.

Oh, another thing. Someone, I forget who Chris or Lindsey (before everyone else had arrived) asked, there were 2 different sized wine glasses on the table, why are there so many wine glasses on the table. So I said one is for red and one is for white wine and explained which was which (having taken Home Ec as a subject at school, I felt confident in my answer), and the conversation on that ended. Now a little while after Samantha arrived, doesn't Chris go & ask her again about the glasses. UM HELLO-I'd already told him and the other 2 (Lindsey & Karen). They definitely heard my explanation earlier as there was only the four of us so it was quiet, so what the heck?? Again, I'm hurt. (but he always does this kind of thing. Sometimes when we're out shopping, he'll ask me my opinion on a brand of something and I tell him, and then he says, let me phone my mom or my sister and see what they use/think-I've fought with him about this before and said well then don't ask my opinion/advice anymore)

Anyway, so we go to the club later. He asks me do I want to pay entrance fee or must he-WHAT? He had no problem paying 2 weeks ago when we went there on our own (granted he just paid for everyone's dinner) and he always pays for our outings. Look, I'm not complaining, I also insist on paying for things like lunches and dinners and tickets, because I feel bad that he pays for everything. Bear in mind that I'm an old fashioned girl, who is brought up in the way that the man must make the first move and the man must pay. I've never expected him to hold car doors open for me or hold a chair out for me, but I do expect him to let me or other ladies enter through a door first, that type of thing.

Anyway at the club is where we find out about Lindsey & her fiancee's (and Gail and Brandon's too for that matter) wedding postponement. So I say quietly to Chris, "they must still be together because she still has her engagement ring on" to which he replies "Really (he uses this word often when surprised), I didn't even notice that. I forgot what *John taught me [a friend of his he used to work with] and didn't notice that [the ring on that finger]". I don't remember verbatim what he said, but that's the gist of it. Now I'm upset {yet again, but try to hide it} & say to him "why would you need to look out for that, you have a me". He says "no man, when I was single" (John is something of a womaniser, Chris isn't).

But still, why would Chris say that, why was he behaving this way all night? It's not like we had a fight or something before the dinner that would prompt this behaviour, we were our usual selves. Then we arrive at the dinner table, Chris was on the phone with a colleague, so I introduce myself to Lindsey and Karen (something I wouldn't do so boldly because I'm chronically shy), but he was on the phone so had no choice. Normally I follow someone elses lead when confronted with strangers because they may know them and can make introductions. Once he's off the phone, he intros himself etc and we're all strangers, so Chris and I sort of chat a bit and tease each other. Then his sister and Celeste arrive and things went downhill from there.

I also watched Gail and Brandon to guage how they were with one another, so that I can see if I'm maybe over-reacting. Was he chatting to her only at any point, were there PDA's. Yes and yes. While they ate, he was talking to her and vice versa.

Please help guys And please don't lambaste me, I'm just confused and don't need any hurtful comments.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:11 PM   #2
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Re: I know I know, but please help

You said not to hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry if this does, because I think you are hypersensitive. But I think you are overreacting. If I were your boyfriend, I'd think you were a bit high maintenance and oversensitive. I think that because you were "very hurt" because the waiter asked what water you guys wanted, and your boyfriend said he wanted sparkling and Lindsay agreed with him. That's all that happened, and it hurt you. Just because he's your boyfriend doesn't mean he has to get whatever you get if he has a preference for another drink, and Lindsay probably just wanted sparkling water too. I doubt she was trying to impress Chris by asking for a certain type of water? If your boyfriend was talking to you less than usual, he was probably just trying to be polite and make conversation with people, as would be polite and expected. He's more outgoing than you, and that's how outgoing people are. The fact that he didn't ask what you were having and getting upset about that is also just silly to me. It's such a tiny little detail that if I were him, I'd feel really exhausted eventually, feeling that I have to walk on eggshells all the time so as not to upset you. Sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I think you need to hear it. Do you agree at all that you get upset at the drop of a hat and have unrealistic expectations about other people to be perfect?

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BEXIE (03-15-2011)
Old 03-14-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: I know I know, but please help

Hi ya dig!

Thanks for your input. No I'm not hurt at all and totally see your point , I'm not irrational, and no I donít get upset at the drop of a hat (except when I have PMS - just kidding ). I keep things that upset me to myself (one of his complaints actually is that I donít tell him these things). As I said in the beginning of my post there are underlying problems. This is just one little incident.

I am by no means high maintenance, in actual fact itís quite the other way round. And I am in many ways more independent and carefree than he is. Have you ever thought that the anger or hurt I'm feeling is misdirected and not solely based on this little incident? But this incident only manifested these feelings. It stems from double-standards with Chris. Heís ďallowedĒ to do certain things, but woe betide me if I do the same or donít do them, whatever the case may be. It stems from us not having problems with PDA. It stems from he cares enough to enquire about ďlittleĒ things like ďwhat am I havingĒ, because we sometimes both want to order the same thing, so then I will or he will change his order to something else and we share, each having something off each otherís plates.

Iíve only touched on Lindseyís behaviour as I didnít want to go on and on. Which leads me to think she was trying to impress Chris, because sheís having problems in her own relationship. When I heard about their wedding postponement, her behaviour actually made sense to me and I pitied her somewhat, but that doesnít make it right. What about my engagement ring part of the post? I told him, that when I was SINGLE, if I saw a guy I fancied, that was the first thing I checked for was the absence or presence of a little gold band wedding ring finger, because many people are married at our age, so itís something we have to do, operative word - SINGLE. But for him to say it like that, not cool and inappropriate!!

Iím not looking for perfection in a partner. I know nobody is perfect and Iím far from it myself. But based on a past hurtful emotionally abusive relationship (that went on and off for 6 years, him always came crawling back to me), I know what I want in a man and how I want to be treated and what I donít want and how I donít want to be treated. I learnt from the mistakes my ex and I made in that relationship and donít and wonít let that happen again and let a man treat me like that again. So yes I may have SOME expectations at times, but donít we all?

Old 03-14-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: I know I know, but please help

What I'm getting from this rather confusing story is that you feel emotionally slighted in a social situation by your guy.
I'm no stranger to this feeling; it seems that a lot of guys (including mine) and maybe women, too, have a tendency, in social situations, to bend over backward to charm total strangers, while ignoring their significant others.

But in a way, that's sort of the point of going into social situations. We see our significant others all the time, and sort of take them for granted. It's interesting meeting new people. It doesn't mean you like them better than you like your husband/wife.
It just means that maybe for two hours, they happen to be more interesting than somebody you live with and spend every second with, and already know everything about.

Still, it hurts to see your guy turning on the charisma with other women (or even men) at social gatherings, while acting as if you're not there.

I've noticed, as I've gotten older and all my friends now are middle-aged married couples, that parties/social occasions tend to be segregated by gender.
The women gravitate off into a group in one area, while the men stay in another.
That way we all get our fix of being social and meeting new people, but nobody has to feel slighted or disrespected watching their husband or wife hang all over a stranger of the opposite sex while ignoring their spouse. Instead, they can hang all over somebody of the same sex, and it can be dismissed as 'girl-talk' or 'male bonding time' rather than flirting, and nobody's feelings get hurt.

See what I mean? It's common.
people go to social gatherings to be social and meet interesting new people, not to stay joined at the hip with the person they're already in a relationship with. It's human nature.
But it's also human nature to be a little hurt/jealous when you feel slighted by your partner.

I don't know the answer, but all I can say is, it's common.
The best defense is to be even more "social", outgoing, charming, and vivacious than he is, next time.

best of luck.

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BEXIE (03-15-2011)
Old 03-14-2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: I know I know, but please help

I know the feeling too. Some people are worse than others. I had one boyfriend, actually my most recent, act so distant in front of other people that I guarantee no one there would even know we were dating unless I'd already told them. I never can tell if it's because he is embarrassed to be with me or if he is just a flirt and it has nothing to do with me. I didn't stick around long enough to find out. Where does Chris fall on this scale?

Old 03-15-2011, 12:39 AM   #6
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Re: I know I know, but please help

@ digmusic - It's so funny you say that, "that I guarantee no one there would even know we were dating unless I'd already told them", I actually thought that at some points of the evening. They probably think I'm just a friend of Samantha's, who caught a lift with Chris. *sigh*

I don't mind who he speaks to, because I know he's not a womaniser and I trust him. He's never been the big dater type. He's only had one long-term relationship and a mini one before meeting me.

He's definitely not a flirt, and I reckon he's proud to have me at his side. He didn't even flirt with me when we first met. He just chatted to me, but he told me later, he already liked me from the moment my cousin introduced us when we were about to take a language class together. Of course I was myself because my cousin was there. And I wasn't shy with him, because I didn't think I stood a chance with him (he's quite unassumingly gorgeous really - I gross his sister out when I say stuff like that - and so down-to-earth) and he's friends with my favouritistist cousin so that was an ice-breaker.

And no, he's not "shy". We once went away together (his sister was with us) and went to the beach and were waiting for a parking and this older lady just politely stole our spot. Chris was a bit upset by this and said he's going to speak to her. Now me being me, who doesn't like confrontation (depending on the severity of the situation though), said "Oh just leave it, she probably didn't see you". But no, he goes up to her, his sister doesn't want to get involved and so we go off down the boardwalk. We're watching him all the time though. And there he is, having a fat conversation with her. LOL! No animosity or anything. He must have chatted to her for about 30 min. or more. She ended up telling him her lifestory, how she'd just lost her hubbie not too long ago and such. He was/is unbelievable.

Oh and by the way, when I tell ppl who know me well that I'm shy, they're like "what? you, shy". What they don't understand, or maybe what I mean is, I'm shy with strangers and at first, in that I don't engage with them unless they start up a conversation. Not that I'm a snob, I just never know what to say to people and I always feel like those awkward silences have to be filled somehow, which makes me even more anxious that nothing is being said.

It also depends on the "stranger". Sometimes within the first minute of meeting someone new, we hit it off immediately and then I'm myself. I found out after a few years of working at my previous company, that a couple of my colleagues used to call me ICE QUEEN, because I never used to speak to anyone except if it was work related, because then I had no choice because the work needed to get done and I need to ask questions. And then they couldn't shut me up. I'd given up smoking a few of months before starting there and actually started up again, so that I could socialise with them.

I think of myself as an extroverted introvert. And he's an extroverted extrovert

@kali333, I liked your points too. LoL, they're so true. "I've noticed, as I've gotten older and all my friends now are middle-aged married couples, that parties/social occasions tend to be segregated by gender. The women gravitate off into a group in one area, while the men stay in another." Although, I've known that to be true with ppl my age, well when I was younger actually, with my afore-mentioned ex. He would go hang out with the boys and I'd sit with the ladies. But I never felt "ignored" though, now that I think about it, I don't understand it? Oh who knows. "The best defense is to be even more "social", outgoing, charming, and vivacious than he is, next time." YOWZER! I'm breakin' out in hives just thinkin' of that

Last edited by BEXIE; 03-15-2011 at 12:59 AM.

Old 03-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #7
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Re: I know I know, but please help

Wow-ee. You are going to over-analyze yourself right out of a relationship. Relax a little.

Just a general comment-- When my wife and I go to social events, we often spend little time together because we're there to... socialize. I'll chat with guys, gals, she'll do the same, maybe I'll check in with her at some point, see if she wants a drink or whatever. If we're at a sit down dinner, I'll probably still spend my time chatting with those around me, and not focus only on her.

Once you're comfortable in your relationship, you shouldn't need constant attention from your partner. Let the little things go, and keep an eye on the big picture. At the end of the night, are you two happy and content to be together?

Old 03-16-2011, 04:00 AM   #8
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Re: I know I know, but please help

I think you should relax ! He probably didnt even realise he wasnt talking to you much. It sounds like he was just been chatty and if you had of joined in more you'd of all probably been chatting but as you say your shy so i can understand it been quite diffacult. I would let this go and put it behind you and forget about it if i was you. You do seem to expect a little too much of him.

Old 03-16-2011, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: I know I know, but please help

Taken on it's own it does appear you overreacted a bit. Forget about whether or not the other lady was trying to impress your bf because it doesn't really matter. If you trust him, and he was not trying to impress her back then anything she did would have no effect on you as a couple.

Having said that, you mentioned that there are many other underlying problems. Are these related to your bf or effecting the relationship? It might help if you look at the bigger picture for a more balanced idea of whether or not his behaviour is something to be worried about.

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