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    Old 08-14-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
    1265CityBoy
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    Disrespect or Insecurity?

    My partner does not think it's important to introduce me as her SO or even admit she's in a relationship, to other men.

    I think it's a sign of disrespect.

    She thinks it's insecurity.

    When I think of insecurity, I think of "gosh, she'll cheat on me!" or "gosh, she'll leave me for this guy!"

    I never have thoughts like that. It's really, honestly, a feeling of anger in that she does not, IMHO, respect the relationship or me enough to introduce me to other males as her partner or mention she's in a relationship.

    Three examples:
    Twice she was asked out at work when men found out she was divorcing - once via e-mail; second via IM. Both times, she never responded; just ignored their requests. She thinks that is an appropriate response. I come from the standpoint that a simple "Thank you, but I amseeing somebody" would go a long way to showing me and the relationship that she is serious.

    Third example, we met with a contractor she had been dealing with for some work on her townhouse and never introduced me. Even after I introduced myself, she never said "this is my boyfriend, I want his input". He kept staring at me like I was a competing contractor. lol.

    These are just a few examples. I noticed this behavior after about 6 months of dating but accumulated the events as "yellow flags" and put them in my back pocket for awareness. It hasn't been til recently that they have come to light.

    Again, she thinks it's insecurity and controlling that I'm "suggesting" what to say or how to behave.

    I have never been accused of insecurity, even in 7 years of marriage. We are both very fit, very attractive 50 (or so) year olds that look 10 years younger with great, fit bodies and considered very attractive. I don't need to be insecure. I have no issues meeting women, nor does she (meeting men).

    I've just never run into this situation before and it seems disrespectful, if not odd to me, that once you decide to be in a committed relationship, you don't do this. I'm almost thinking it's more a self-esteem issue on her part and needing validation?

    FWIW, we are both college educated, divorced and with children. We each have a child with special needs. I have read many self help and relationship books, and have tried to get her to go to couples counseling with me but she "doesn't believe in counseling". My favorite relationship expert is John Gottman and she tells me I "hide" behind his quotes.

    We have been dating for almost 2 years.

    Thoughts? How do you respond to someone that thinks like this? Is it just a queston of differences in how we view relationships? I'm not sure I can be in a relationship that doesn't acknowledge me or the relationship to other men. I absolutely acknowledge our relationship and her to other women. She has seen it but says that is my prerogative and choice - she has hers.

     
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    Old 08-15-2016, 09:18 AM   #2
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    It is a little odd and the only thing I can think of is she's either keeping her options open or she's ashamed of you. From what you've said, I don't see why she would be.

     
    Old 08-15-2016, 10:49 AM   #3
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    I think this is really strange indeed. I would never NOT introduce my husband if he was standing in introduction distance to....anyone.

    What would happen if you introduced yourself? Just walkd up to whoever and said "Hi. Im XXXXX, her boyfriend". Would she flip out?

    If so, she is keeping her options open and doesnt want to be in a committed relationship.

    Not replying to emails or IMs is NOT the right way to handle anything. BY not replying, she IS keeping her options open and they are wondering if she got their emails or IMs. You are not crazy to be upset by this.

    Is she worth it? Really? Because it sounds like she has allot of growing up to do and it sounds like she is not ready to be in a committed relationship. Tell her you are NOT INCONSEQUENTIAL it has nothing to do with security, but if she isnt "all in"- find someone who is willing to be. You cant change her and if she doesnt want to meet you half way on this, then she is hiding something.

    Good luck!
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    Old 08-15-2016, 02:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    Quote:
    We have been dating for almost 2 years.
    How long are you planning on dating? 5 years? 10 years? Longer?

    Maybe she's hoping for something more than dating so the purpose of her behavior is to keep you from taking her for granted. If this is true, she doesn't want to admit that she wants to be married, thinking that it might scare you off. So, my theory is: She wants you to ask for her hand in marriage!!!! :-)

    Last edited by JohnR41; 08-16-2016 at 08:37 AM.

     
    Old 08-15-2016, 06:17 PM   #5
    1265CityBoy
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    Thank you, everyone, for the feedback so far! Truly appreciated.

    rosequartz, it never dawned on me that she might be ashamed of me, but if that was the case, wouldn't she be reluctant to introduce me to everyone? She seems to have NO problem pointing out to women that I'm her man. lol. I hate to think she is keeping her options open. It disappoints me deeply, because we have so many things in common and get along great, otherwise.

    MSNik, no she would not flip out, if I introduced myself as the boyfriend. But, she knows I wouldn't do that out of pride. I expect my partner to respect me enough to WANT to do it. I told her exactly the same thing about not responding to e-mails/IM and she called me paranoid and insecure. I've tried very passionately but with a level-head to tell her that I am not insecure and that it has to do with respecting the relationship and your partner. I even quoted John Gottman to her about sometimes needing to put your needs after those of the relationship (I was trying to show her that she could compromise and do it for the relationship sake). She told me I was hiding my insecurity and control behind his quotes and big words, but at the end of the day...I was simply wrong; that's it insecurity no matter how you slice it. Wow. I was speechless.

    JohnR41, the majority of the 2 years, she was separated and divorcing, so she has only really been divorced a few months. We do talk about marrying and our future, so she knows I'm seriously considering it with her. I thought maybe it was the fact that she wasn't yet divorced that kept her from admitting it, but like I said, she had no problem admitting it to others. It seemed (to me anyway) that it was only with handsome, middle-aged men, married or not.

    My biggest disappointment is that she won't discuss this rationally and without emotion so we can maybe find a compromise. Each time she ends up screaming, insulted or offended and storms off or hangs up on me. I am not like that. She has had VERY similar concerns with me, and I have settled them within 5 minutes so they were never an issue! She had a problem with me posting on a health-n-fitness blog that she called "a place to hook up" (it was not). I stopped immediately and told her that she and the relationship were what was important to me, not the blog. Another time, she had concerns with me starting massage therapy because her ex had cheated on her with a massage therapist. I offered to take her with me and pay for couples massages or seek out a male therapist. She discovered the therapist I wanted to see was a lesbian, so she was okay with it. Still, I was willing to appease her concerns immediately and without flying off the handle. She can't seem to pay me the same respect back.

    We're taking a much needed break after three weeks of passionate arguing. I'm trying to figure things out, so your advice is helpful.

    Thanks, again, guys for the feedback.

     
    Old 08-15-2016, 06:25 PM   #6
    1265CityBoy
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    So, i let my sister read this post and she said I left out a very important detail.

    We work together. And she is in a position of leadership that indirectly puts me under her, but I do not officially report to her. We have kept our relationship secret at work for fear of damage to her credibility. But, the 2 men that asked her out work for a completely different department; don't know me; don't know the department. They just know her and know she is divorcing. They would "probably" not even know me, if she said my name. But regardless, I didn't ask her to say "sorry, I'm involved with so-and-so". I still maintain that she could say "sorry, I'm seeing someone or in a relationship", etc. Still respects me/relationship without giving anything further out. She owes no one any further explanation. So to me, the fact that they were men at work does not matter, but my g/f does. My sister agrees with me but thought it was important to mention here to see if you guys thought differently?

     
    Old 08-15-2016, 06:40 PM   #7
    1265CityBoy
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    So, i let my sister read this post and she said I left out a very important detail.

    We work together.

    And she is in a position of leadership over me, but I do not officially report to her. We have kept our relationship secret at work for fear of damage to her credibility. But, the 2 men that asked her out work in completely different departments and, most likely, don't even know me, let alone would suspect anything. Besides, I wasn't asking her to say she was dating so-and-so. I was simply saying that responding with "I'm involved" or even a "no thank you, I'm not interested" would have been better than no response at all. My partner, obviously, saw it differently. She did not even want to take the slightest risk with these men working at the same regional office of about 2000 employees. That is her reason.

    My sister agrees with me but thought it was important to mention here to see if you guys thought differently?

     
    Old 08-15-2016, 06:49 PM   #8
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    Hey Cityboy,
    Your new information does put a new perspective on one thing.....you are playing with fire. Whether you report to her or not, she has authority and this could be damaging to your reputation if she decides to play games with you down the road. I am sure I dont have to tell you that work relationships can be bad news... I really hope she is worth it.

    You stated back to me earlier that no, she wouldnt be upset if you introduced yourself as the boyfriend, but you also stated that you wouldnt do it. I would. Just once. See what kind of reaction you get. Obviously not at work- but the next time the opportunity arises, I would go for it to see exactly how she DOES react. You may not know her as well as you think. You dont sound like the kind of guy that she would or could be ashamed of...but has it crossed your mind that maybe she doesnt want it to get back to anyone at work? Is there a policy at your employment about fraternizing amongst employees? Especially if one is a superior- sometimes corporate America plays that card. Could this be it? That she is simply afraid for her "position"?

    The whole story about the massages and the blog blow my mind. She asks (demands) allot, and it appears you give allot- but this isnt really getting you anywhere, is it? What will it take for you to get an inch in this relationship? Im just curious. You have also asked for counseling and gotten shot down...from the outside looking in, there is a pattern. Not a good one.

    I feel for you. You obviously care allot. I am glad to hear you are taking a break...you need some time to really look at this from all sides...but the one thing I want to remind you of is that you shouldnt settle. You have been married before and whatever the reason you are no longer married, please do not put yourself in a position with yet another woman who doesnt meet your needs. You deserve better. None of us should have to beg for being treated well.

    One more thing to think about....there is a difference between feeling insecure and feeling inconsequential. I dont think you are insecure. But I do think she makes you feel like you don't matter...any truth to that? Does she make you feel like the most important man in her life?

    Wishing you the best....let us know how you are doing!
    Best
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    Old 08-16-2016, 09:53 AM   #9
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1265CityBoy View Post
    My biggest disappointment is that she won't discuss this rationally and without emotion so we can maybe find a compromise. Each time she ends up screaming, insulted or offended and storms off or hangs up on me. I am not like that.
    I'm very sorry to hear that she treats you that way; no one should ever be treated like that. Unfortunately, becoming irrational and highly emotional over disagreements is part of her personality and not something that's ever going to change. Various disagreements may come and go but her basic temperament - her way of dealing with disagreements - will remain the same. So, to be realistic, you have to decide if this is something you want to live with long term.

    Last edited by JohnR41; 08-16-2016 at 09:54 AM.

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:11 AM   #10
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    after hearing the stuff about the blog and the massage therapist I believe she is "projecting" her insecurities onto you when she says you are insecure......
    this one seems to be too much trouble......I'd let it fade.....

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:16 AM   #11
    1265CityBoy
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    Thank you, kindly, for your thoughts and suggestions.

    I had my third session with my therapist last night, since this all began a few weeks ago. It was very emotional. While she did not tell be what to do, she strongly advised I step back from this unhealthy person and relationship, because it's affecting my work and my emotional well-being. Very hard to do when you care about someone so much.

    JohnR41, I'm not perfect either. I can get very passionate, too, and can sometimes make discussions difficult, too. But, I am aware of that, so I make a concerted effort to maintain my emotions. It's usually after someone becomes emotional with me that I react. That is why I was pleading with her to see a therapist with me.

    MSNik, yes we work for Big Corp America Company that has policies and strict rules about sexual harrassment and valuing diversity, but no strict rules about inter-office dating. Yes, she had explicitely said that is why she does not want to expose our relationship at work, and I understand that if it's folks with whom we work on a day-to-day basis and directly. The men that asked her out have no interaction with or knowledge of our dept, our people or me. They just know who she is and that she stopped wearing her wedding ring a week after she separated (one of the men actually said that was how he realized she was "available"). So, I maintain that she could have replied "No thank you, I'm not interested" instead of not replying at all and leave the guessing. I just can't determine if she's using work (and her divorce) to keep her options open, as you guys indicated, or if she has a right to keep things private from EVERYONE (remember, the landscaper had no ties to work or her divorce and she still didn't introduce me).

    Regardless, it's a moot point. My therapist is correct that this relationship had red flags from the beginning and is unhealthy for me. She actually said the same thing as MSNik: Regardless of my partner's situation (divorce, work together, etc.), I deserved to be recognized...not treated as inconsequential. In private I was the only one in her world, but around others, she seemed to take a different view.

    A few other examples have come to mind.

    A couple of months ago, I threw a small bowling bday party for my son who has Down Syndrome (her daughter is autistic). For whatever reason, only the dads showed up of the 5 boys my son wanted there. My partner and her daughter came but they showed up late. All of the dads were standing there watching us when she arrived and I attempted to kiss here on the lips. At the last second, she turned and I kissed her cheek. No explanation. I was a bit hurt but never said anything. She is very conscious of her looks and is always bragging about "putting on her lips" so I assumed it was because she didn't want lipstick smeared. Dunno. Ladies, is that reasonable or not?

    When she first hired her divorce attorney nearly a year ago, she sent me a picture of him (from his website), unsolicited by me. I did not ask to see him. She pointed out that he was divorced. He was our age, very tanned, very handsome. I thought it was strange that she felt compelled to send me his pic, but I never said anything - just filed it away. A few weeks ago, she was telling me of a heated debate she was having with him because he could not grasp the custody schedule she was requesting. The reason she was requesting a specific schedule was so that it aligned with my custody schedule and we could have some time together. Her attorney kept asking why she kept insisting on this schedule, because he thought it was an unusual schedule (not sure why he thought that). But, she would not tell him why. She just kept telling him it was none of his business, although he kept pressing. She never told him. I was a bit uncomfortable with that story, because I didn't think there was an issue telling HER attorney that she had met someone and wanted to align schedules. In fact, he even told here the moment she filed for separation she could date with no legal ramifications. Her reasoning this time was that he could "slip" and let it out to her soon-to-be-ex attorney and they would know, even though her attorney is bound by confidentiality. So again, good excuse from her...but is it genuine? I have a hard time believing her considering she had also sent me a pic of him unsolicited...almost as if trying to get a rise of me.

    I tell you guys all these examples for couple reasons: One, it's cathartic so THANK YOU for listening. And two, because I am curious if my reaction/thinking is normal among other men? Or, am I truly being insecure? I do not want to exhibit unhealthy traits in a relationship. But these words of "control" and "insecurity" have popped up in my last 2 relationships, even though I felt it was a question in both of "disrespect". To me there is a difference. This is what I hope to explore further with my therapist moving forward. Any tips or things to think about are much appreiated!

    Thanks for listening, folks. <3

    cityboy

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:17 AM   #12
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    The way I see it is that she is coming out of a divorce and doesn't want a man to tell her what she should or not do. You 2 are mature professionals and you need to accept each other as you are. It may make her feel good to be asked out even if she doesn't accept. You are not in your 20s or 30s anymore and since she is in a position of leadership maybe you should just say whatever. Just something to think about.

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:20 AM   #13
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    Rose, we were posting at the same time.

    thank you for your thoughts. My therapist mentioned the same with her projecting. She also said that the fact that she always flys off the handle and won't answer my questions is a sign of no owning her issues.




    ken, thank you so much for your thoughts. I have a friend that says the same thing, basically. He says at the end of the day, she's with me so what does it matter. I understand that. But, it's just very hard for me to get past feelings of disrespect...from anyone, let alone my partner. And that's how these situations make me feel. Something to work on.

    ken, one more thing. I don't think I would have an issue if she was asked out and she DIDN'T ACCEPT. The issue is she never replied, at all.

    Last edited by Mo-S4; 08-17-2016 at 02:18 PM. Reason: posts merged.

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:30 AM   #14
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    If I were you I'd stick it out for time being.

    Trust me. I was in that friend zone thing for a while and we wound up getting married.

    Best of luck to you.

     
    Old 08-17-2016, 09:31 AM   #15
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    Re: Disrespect or Insecurity?

    She may not think she is disrespecting you at all. She is now being who she is and not worrying about another person's baggage. Like you wrote before it is you that she is with. Remember women over the age of 50, especially divorced, will not change who they are for anybody. Try not to feel disrespected because you probably aren't.

     
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