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    Old 01-24-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
    plaxmax34
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    Human Doormat

    Hi everyone, I was hoping some of you could give me a little advice on a personal problem I'm having. My friends and I were drinking last night and I can't remember how it came up, but we got on the subject of my ex-girlfriend. They started all talking about how much I was whipped and how it got to a point where she was totally controlling my life. And it's true, things got so bad that some of my friends were ready to stop hanging out with me, because I always made my girlfriend a higher priority than them. I'm embarrassed about the way I treated my friends back then, and I'm lucky that they all forgave me for it.

    But I was telling one of my friends last night that the bad thing is, I think that's just part of who I am. I'm afraid that's just something I'm always going to do when I'm in a relationship. My friend didn't think so; he felt that my ex was extremely controlling, bossy and manipulative. Which may be true, but I was also responsible for my own behavior because I let her treat me that way. I let her boss me around and walk all over me. And why? Because I just wanted to make sure I was being a good boyfriend, and I didn't want to make her mad.

    Our relationship developed into something where if I made any mistakes or did anything wrong, she would get totally ****** off and frustrated with me, and it could turn into a big argument. I hated having fights with her, because I didn't know how to handle them. I always apologized first, even if I didn't believe I did anything wrong. The arguments with her were always really difficult to settle; either I would end up apologizing or we would stay mad at each other until she would forget about it and tell me that she was over it. Of course, that wasn't good because a lot of times, legitimate problems between us wouldn't get solved, she would just stay mad until she felt like she could ignore it and move on.

    The bottom line is, I guess I was always afraid to get her mad at me, so I would usually do what she wanted, what she told me to do, and I would put her before my friends. And I've been single now since she and I broke up, but I'm kind of starting to get involved with a new girl, and I'm afraid that I might do the same things in my future relationships. I'm afraid that I'm going to be treated badly by any future girlfriends I have, but I guess I'm just afraid to stand up for myself.

    I realize this is a huge personality flaw, and frankly, I might have even bigger emotional problems that are causing me to feel like this, but can anyone help steer me in the right direction? Does anyone have any advice on how I can change my ways?

     
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    Old 01-24-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Yes, that is your personality, and you will have it always. However, I think that when you are in a relationship, you can feel when it's right and when it isn't right. When your partner respects you and it is truly respect, or when she over-steps that line and treats you as a doormat.

    I don't think putting your girlfriend first (before your buddies) is always wrong, in fact, I did expect it in my relationships.

    Once you feel it's getting over the respect line, you can have a talk with the woman. If she's a good person, she will understand your concern and correct herself. If she wouldn't care how you feel she's not the right person.

    Last edited by klava; 01-24-2009 at 02:54 PM.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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    Re: Human Doormat

    I don't expect my guy to put me before his buddies. They are important to him and they have a lot of fun together. I expect at least equal footing and if something comes up where he has to choose between spending time with them or with me, that he divides equally or compromises. For example, he wants to go paintballing with the guys. Definitely not an activity for me. So we decide he'll go and later that night he'll take me out to dinner, or if he's too sore (LOL) we can get together and watch a movie later that evening. And the next day he'll spend with me at something I want to do.

    I'd never expect that he'll always choose hanging out with me and abandoning his friends. I'd feel like a real hag if that happened. In fact, I encourage him to spend time with the buddies so I can spend time with mine!

    I think when you find the right girl, she won't mind your "buddy time". She'll probably encourage it!

    Of course, this won't help if you voluntarily abandon your friends to spend all your time with your girl. That's a whole separate issue regarding insecurity.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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    Re: Human Doormat

    With my ex, I remember talking to her once or twice about how I needed to spend more time with my friends, and she got very defensive and insecure about it. She thought that I was accusing her of monopolizing all of my time. She was very irrational about the whole thing. It was like I was breaking her heart by saying that my friends needed me to spend some time with them, and she acted like she was so disappointed in me.

    It's funny that you mention being able to spend time with your own friends. My ex didn't really have any friends of her own. We went to college together, where she had a few friends, but she never made any attempt to hang out with them on weekends or to talk to them when we were away from school. She only had one friend left from high school, a guy. She actually ended up cheating on me with him, and they're dating now. So as you can see, she wasn't really the ideal girlfriend.

    Of course, I don't expect every girl to be like my ex. I think most normal girls have friends of their own, and wouldn't want to spend every moment of the day with me, which is healthy. And that would make it easier for me to spend more time with my friends.

    But your last line did bother me a little, because somehow I kind of always knew that I would act like that in a relationship. I just know myself. I knew I would end up being a pushover, and I knew that I would end up making my girlfriend a higher priority than my friends. But that's not right. Before my last relationship, I didn't see how damaging that way of thinking could be to me and to my friends. I never thought my friends would leave me, but I think they were pretty close to doing it.

    I think I need to be able to stand my ground a little bit and stay true to who I am, and also stay true to my friends, who have always been there for me. I know that if I can do this and still balance my time with a girlfriend, any rational girl should be understanding, right? I guess my last girlfriend was just such a nightmare that it's hard to imagine a girlfriend acting rationally.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Oh, and I do think that I might have some issues with being insecure, but I guess that's a whole other thing.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
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    Re: Human Doormat

    It's not making a girlfriend a higher priority that is an issue, but when you make her your ONLY priority. As in, you completely abandon your friends, always say no to any plans, don't return their calls, don't have them over or go visit them, that it becomes unhealthy and wrong. I mean, if you have a girlfriend you have to constantly watch, or one who is so insecure that you practically can't even go the bathroom without her...that's a problem.

    Also, if YOU think you can't leave her alone for 5 minutes, and she's saying, dude, go spend some time with your friends already and you're saying, no, it's ok, I'd rather hang with you...that would be your issue and not hers. There's a healthy balance and you just need to find it.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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    Re: Human Doormat

    It may be your personality but you can change it. I used to be a doormat because of my insecurities - but when I reazlied that I was drawing in men that would take advantage of my good nature I realized that those that take advantage of "nice" people don't derserve to be with me.

    Nobody has the right to run your life into the ground. You have to decide if you like being taken advantage of - if you get something out of being treated poorly (i.e. you feel on some level you deserve it) or you learn what your boundaries are. One thing is for sure - a woman that likes to run a man will do so if allowed to. You always have the choice not to allow it. Most women are attracted to a man that doesn't let someone rule them. A women that does has her own issues and will play those issues out with a man that allows it.

    You can change the way you do things. I still have a giving/good nature - but I never let someone run me or take advantage of that.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #8
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Hi, plaxmax34. I can identify with what you're saying. Guys like you and I need to toughen up for our own sake. My last few girlfriends have quickly realised that I am a people-pleaser and before long they started to take advantage of my good nature. Eventually my exes lost respect for me because I couldn't say "no" and I would always take the blame in an argument. I am ninety-nine percent confident that had I stood up for myself a bit more in these relationships, they would have lasted longer.

    Don't forget that women are programmed, by evolution, to be attracted towards strong men. You need to demonstrate that strengh - or, conversely, not demonstrate weakness - in the way you conduct yourself with your girlfriend. That simply means standing up for yourself when it really matters. We can both change and we probably have to if we want more succesful relationships! Good luck, dude

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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    Re: Human Doormat

    I think it's a matter of finding a balance. I think in a serious relationship or a marrriage, your significant other does have to be a priority. I for one would not want to be in a relationship or a marriage where my needs and feelings or the needs of the household or the family always took a backseat to the beer buddies. Your marriage and your household and your family must always come first. If that were the case, I'd tell him to just go sleep with his beer buddies.

    BUT...that's not to say you have to give up your friends. Everyone needs friends and needs to keep a life for him or herself in a relationship. I think it's possible to really love someone and have them be paramount in your life and still nurture your friendships. It's about balance and it's also about everyone respecting each other. It's possible that this girl was controlling and manipulated you into spending an unhealthy amount of time with you, but it's also possible that your friends just didn't like her and undermined the relationship. That happens a lot, too. The guy's friends just don't like a woman for whatever reason, maybe they're all single and want to keep their single drinking buddy or their wingman and they don't like the fact that he's got someone so they run her down, say she's bad for him, controlling, bossy, etc. so they can get their old single buddy back. The fact is, that even when we are being as best a friend as we can and we are nurturing our friendships, we are a different friend when we are single than we are when we are with someone. My old best friend and I used to spend a lot of time together, but when she got married, I saw a lot less of her, because she was married. She had a husband and a home and those things took priority, as they should have. A good friend will also respect the fact that when you are with someone, they simply will not see as much of you as they will when you are single. They can't call you at midnight and say "hey, we've decided to hit the clubs and do an all nighter!! Meet you in 15 minutes!" and expect you to jump out of bed and leave your SO and go run off like a single guy. You can't act like a single guy when you are not single, and your friends have to respect that as well.

    It's about balance, and it's about your girlfriend respecting the time you need iwth your buddies, AND your buddies respecting the time you need with your girlfriend, and spending time with all of them together as well. I don't think it's a good idea to keep your friends separate from your girlfriend. If they don't get along, that always spells trouble for either the friendships or the relationship or both.

    Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 01-24-2009 at 05:46 PM.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 05:52 PM   #10
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redneon82 View Post
    Also, if YOU think you can't leave her alone for 5 minutes, and she's saying, dude, go spend some time with your friends already and you're saying, no, it's ok, I'd rather hang with you...that would be your issue and not hers. There's a healthy balance and you just need to find it.
    Yeah, I can remember several times where she would be upset and she would be like, "You're right, I guess I'm just being selfish. I guess that's what I get for being in love with you. Your friends need to spend time with you, so just forget about me and go hang out with them." Those aren't her exact words, but she would usually say something along those lines. And of course she was being possessive, irrational, and she wasn't getting the point. But I think anytime she said something like that, I would actually tell her that she was more important than any of my friends. I told her that she was the only thing that mattered to me, and I didn't care about my friends at all as long as I had her. A lot of good that did me. It wasn't right for me to feel that way, not at all.

    I think maybe something that made things worse was that me and my ex had some communication problems. We just weren't on the same page with a lot of things. It actually got so bad that I realized there was a problem, but it was so difficult to talk to her about things that I didn't even know how to fix the communication problem itself. Because we communicated so poorly, I was really afraid to ever get her mad at me, to do anything wrong, or to fight about anything. I just knew that we couldn't solve problems together anymore, and I was afraid that even a minor fight would cause us to break up. What I didn't realize was that those communication problems were actually reason enough to break up with her. I really wish I had been stronger, but hopefully I'll know better now. We'll see.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 06:06 PM   #11
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Larrylou'smom View Post
    It's possible that this girl was controlling and manipulated you into spending an unhealthy amount of time with you, but it's also possible that your friends just didn't like her and undermined the relationship. That happens a lot, too.
    I don't really feel like that was the case. One of my best friends, for example, always tells me that he was never crazy about my ex, but he tried hard to be friends with her and he gave her a lot of second chances. The thing that really turned him off to her was last spring when she made me miss the NFL draft. Me and him are both football nuts, and every year we hang out and watch the NFL draft in the spring for a day. The draft was in April, and I had been looking forward to it and counting down the days since January. Well, the day of the draft, I missed almost the whole thing because my girlfriend wanted me to go to this thing with her and her friends. He hated that she pulled me away from that, but more than that, he hated that I tried to act like it was no big deal. He thought she was changing me because I told everyone that I didn't care about missing the draft, when clearly I had been looking forward to it for months. He says that that showed him that she really didn't care about me and she didn't really understand me, because she gave no consideration to the fact that I was missing something I had been really looking forward to, just to spend time with her.

    But you're right, I do need to find more balance next time around.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 06:47 PM   #12
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    Re: Human Doormat

    By the way Larrylou'smom, thank you for acknowledging that it's normal to make a girlfriend a high priority when in a serious relationship. I feel like a lot of people couldn't appreciate that when I was in my relationship. My friends, my sister. My mom may have been the worst culprit. She either didn't believe that I was really in a serious relationship, or she would always tell me that I'm too young to be in a serious relationship. I'm almost 23. She was always saying that I shouldn't just date one person, but I should go out on lots of dates and play the field. I didn't understand that, it sounded like she wanted me to sleep around with people instead of having a serious girlfriend.

    My best friend also doesn't seem to believe that a girlfriend in a serious relationship should be a high priority. Of course, when he had a girlfriend, they used to fight about stuff like that all the time. If they lived together, I have a feeling he would have spent a lot of nights on the couch, LOL.

    But thank you, it's good to know that I'm not the only one who thinks dedication in a relationship is important.

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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    Re: Human Doormat

    PlaxMax34, I wrote a thread, titled to you. Its still on the first page.

    Sorry to interrupt the flow of the convo, you guys may continue

     
    Old 01-24-2009, 09:46 PM   #14
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Since I made a reply concerning PaxMax's thread without input into THIS thread, I figure I would pay my dues.

    I would say forget all this detailed descriptions that everyone is writing with examples, situations, and so forth. Here is the skinny:

    1. By going thru your old threads, we get a picture of you. That picture paints a man who is incapable of truly enjoying being single (and in the same sentence is hugely afraid of NOT being in a relationship.)

    2. Before you step on my toes, I am just like you, so I can be straight here...

    3. Because of reason #1, that clearly leads you into a corner where you "put up" with 3x more bull crap than someone who ISNT afraid of being single (or not being in a relationship.) This has nothing to do with your personality while in a relationship. Look at the root cause. It is because of reason #1 that reason #3 is happening. And because of the root cause, "communication problems" you described would not have gone on nearly as long as they did. You would have realized a LOT sooner that she wasn't on the same maturity level as you, (albeit you are both insecure in your own ways.)

    4. As other people wrote, she will lose respect for you and eventually will do the monkey branch grab.

    Solution?? Get to know yourself, get to love yourself, get to the point where you can be out at the bars and BE IN THAT MOMENT and NOT having diverted attention towards which girl you would like to get interested in. Have you ever noticed the more you TRY, the less successful you are? I have. I am just like you PlaxMax (my other thread will tell you), so I know exactly what its like to think how you think. Not that I am a know-it-all, but Im going with my hunch on this.

    So just enjoy your life. Stop what your doing and be thankful for what you have. Live in the present. Love whatever it is that you are doing. Be not concerned with finding a mate, because when you get to a point of reaching out to just about any woman, you standards will be lower (although you will not notice at the time), and you will probably settle for the wrong girl.

    Thats my rant.

    Last edited by calypso; 01-24-2009 at 10:10 PM.

     
    Old 01-25-2009, 03:09 AM   #15
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    Re: Human Doormat

    Wow, I'm kind of surprised that you went back through my old topics. I must have sounded like a broken record, always mentioning how my girlfriend cheated on me. That was terrible for me dude. That's the only relationship I've ever been in, and it was a really traumatic event for me, even if the relationship was bad for me.

    I did some thinking about this while I was home from school a few weeks ago. I've been keeping a journal since that breakup, and I've written probably over 200 pages worth of stuff in it. So I was trying to figure out what it meant to be happy, what needed to happen, and why I didn't feel happier. I remember one day just sulking around my house, and my mom asked what was wrong with me. I told her that I felt sad, but I wasn't sure why. She said, "Cheer up, you've got a good life" and I said to her, "That's just it: I do have a really good life, but I'm not as happy as I should be, and I don't know why."

    Without going off on too much of a tangent, I had the epiphany that happiness and well-being are made up of several components, such as physical health, interpersonal relationships, academic/career success, spiritual health, etc. Different people focus on different areas, but I realized that I put most of my emphasis on my relationships with others, specifically in terms of finding a mate. That's not good because it means that I've been unbalanced. It's probably not possible to excel in all areas, but I realized that just by trying to balance the different components of my life better, and by trying to better myself little by little in several areas, it should help my overall level of happiness.

    After thinking I'd had some kind of incredible breakthrough (I actually thought of writing a book about it), I realized that I was wrong on something. While self-improvement and betterment are important endeavors for each of us, it was wrong of me to try to put off happiness waiting for something else to happen. I shouldn't have had to think, "Well, I'm not happy now, but I will be once I lose ten pounds", or anything like that. That's not really correct, because I realized that happiness is more reliant on your outlook, your perception. As someone else put it, "Be happy with your perfectly imperfect life."

    Anyway, you're probably wondering how happiness worked its way into the discussion. Well, after thinking about the nature of happiness, and doing some self-reflection, I reminded myself that I can be perfectly happy without having a girlfriend or anything like that. Of course, thinking it and actually doing it turned out to be two different things altogether in my case. I had nothing going on romantically with anyone I knew. I was scared to death of meeting women in public and asking them out, even though that is something I'll need to be able to do someday. I was on my own, and I should have felt fine like that. But I didn't. I felt like crap, and I couldn't snap myself out of it. My perception was off, somehow. I should have been happy, but I wasn't. And how do you change your perception of things? How do you change the way you think, feel and react to the world around you? It wasn't something I was ready to figure out.

     
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