My boyfriend wants me to conform to his rules and is trying to teach me structure and discipline. I don't agree with what it's doing to our relationship or how it is making me feel. It just so happens that I decided to write about it last night-
< no self-promotional links>
And surprise, surprise... Guess what happens?
I draw A LOT. I mean everyday. I have two sketchbooks, a big one and a little one, I take the little one with me practically WHERE EVER I go. When you open the sketchbook the first page is a pocket to keep loose papers in. I never keep anything in it, but I did notice recently that there was a piece of folded paper stuck in there. For some reason I thought I had put it there myself. Well, just a few moments ago I decided to check it out, so I unfold this paper and to my pleasure, it's a note from my boyfriend. I just had to share it and didn't want to hub it. This is quite special coming from him because he HATES to read and doesn't write hardly at all. Don't judge fellow Hubbers!! He has a Bachelors in Graphic Arts and an Assoc. in Business, just hates to read. He's a wonderful communicator though, which is a major plus, but as much as I write, he talks. Anyways, he must of wrote this a week ago. I remember him saying something about leaving a note for me under the doormat, but I wasn't paying attention. And since his major complaint is me "Not paying attention" I didn't want to bring it up. I need advice on how I can change or if I need to change to make my relationship work. I used to think about marrying him, but now I think I would definitely want to marry someone like him.. Here's the letter:
This is my definition of Love.
Love is passion for ___________.
Love is caring for ____________.
A feeling that makes a smart man stupid.
Makes a blind man see. Makes a man in a wheel chair walk.
It is the feeling you get that makes you feel invincible. Makes you feel you can achieve the unachievable.
Makes the weak strong and the strong weak.
These are the feelings I have when I wake up next to you in the morning. You have made me a better person. You have given me drive to want to be a better person.
There is one way I know how to motivate someone and the only effective way. This way is not for the weak and feeble. It is a way that brings the fight out in the weak. I am sorry if you don't see it, but I want to make you strive to be better. I want to be the one who makes you feel the way you make me feel.
I KNOW that I have a lot of learning and growing up to do, but I feel that I should be loved for being me. Right? How much should we have to change to satisfy our partner in a relationship? Can a self disciplined, structured, considerate, by the rules, man really have a comfortable relationship with a seductive, selfish, follow no rules type of girl that lives by the seat of her pants?
He is constantly disappointed in me, which causes him to pull back. He doesn't stop doing his boyfriend duties, such as inviting me over, making me breakfast, assisting me when I need help, lending me money, or helping out with the kids, but he has stopped being sweet about it. He is not affectionate, he kind of ignores me. Plays on his Ipod ALOT, doesn't hold me when we sleep, is not too cheerful to be around and just doesn't flirt or hug or kiss. It's awful! I've broken up with him several times because of this, but of course we get back together. And he says now the hurt that I've caused him is added fuel to the fact that I don't listen to his rules, causing him to be more distant.
He says he is deeply in love with me and he is treating me this way for that fact. I just don't understand why you would treat someone like he does if he's so in love with me. I mean he's not treating me bad, but he used to treat me like a princess. He never said no, bought me flowers and gifts, and was just absolutely perfect. He had this sparkle in his eyes when he looked at me that made him so dreamy, and I haven't seen that in a while. I don't think I deserve this treatment and it's been hard for me to change and I just don't know what to do! I feel that he's just pushing me away and I'm in return pushing him away. I miss my boyfriend that I met at first and I tell him this. You aren't the same person and if you don't bring back the guy I agreed to be in a relationship with this is not going to work. I need advice on how to change if that's what I'm going to do or how to move on now. My feelings have been really hurt by his distance and it's at a time when I need him to comfort me most. Also, I'm an affectionate person. I like to cuddle and to be held when I cry and to be hugged and kissed a lot. He didn't do it as much before, but now it's not at all. Help me?!!!
Don't forget to check out what I wrote about him last night to get a better understanding of how angry and frustrated he's been making me feel.
Leave him - he is a self obsessed control freak. The reason he does not read is because he thinks he knows it all and in the relationship stakes he knows less than nothing.
Tell him directly that he is not good enough for a passionate artistic person like you.
he is pretty controlling, but he's smart. smarter than me. or he's very convincing. you're right a lot of people do say he acts as if he knows it all. and he's got me convinced that he does. it's just that when he's right about something he's like, see... i told you. and doesn't let it go. sometimes he talks to me like a kid. like tonight, "well, i haven't seen any changes in you, so you can understand that it's hard for me to believe that you aren't pouting, when I think you are." So I pout!! I do it in a very adult like manner. I don't like to fight so I become a little withdrawn, but I bite my tongue and in time get over it. He wants me not to pout. To not get upset if he doesn't want to hug or kiss me. To just be... idk. but as i'm typing... i'm not liking the situation im in.
i take that back when i say controlling. because he really does let me do whatever i want. regarding friends, alone time, and doing whatever. it's just that he demands i live by structure and discipline, and honestly i don't at all. my goal was to find a man and he be structured and disciplined for me. is that fair of me to want? or is that being completely selfish? he makes me feel bad for being me. for example. i care about him a lot, but i may be not as considerate as he'd like. when he's out in the yard mowing the lawn and im inside cleaning, he will get upset if i don't take him a glass of water. if he has to ask he gets mad. i mean I DO care about him, and I'm appreciative that he takes care of the yard, but i'm just not that girl who thinks about getting you water. i mean i will.... if you ask... lol. i feel like i show my consideration and affection in different ways.
wow, im deeply sorry to hear that. The only real advice I can give you is to talk to him about this, as he needs to know how you feel if you haven't told him already. if he doesn't want to initially listen at first, then you need to make him listen as it's not going to do your relationship together any good if you keep this bottled up inside. you see all relationships are about compromise and love. and your right about what love is. true love is when you love someone for not just the things you like about them, but you have to love what you don't like about them as well. as nobody is ever going to be perfect, as that's what true love is. anyway, idk if that helps or not, but i hope it does. sorry again about what's happening with you two.
i do tell him exactly how i feel. and then he replies with well, "why do you think i'm acting this way toward you" and i know it's because i don't pay attention and don't listen to his rules. i mean there not that hard of rules, but i just figure why? why MUST you make rules for me. then he says. there are rules in life, it's the principal that matters. to instill structure in you so that you may be the best you can be. Isn't it convincing? I fall for it every time. Then the next day i'm mad again because he wont stop being so "matter of fact" and then he's mad cuz i'm pouting instead of working on changing. do you see this circle?? it's down right craziness, i feel like i'm stuck in the twilight zone and it's groundhog's day!!
Sorry to hear you are going through this
Keep writing and drawing, it's proven to be healing
It might be a good idea for you to speak with someone about the topics and "how to" points on "boundaries" and "assertiveness."
I think that with boundaries set, people can agree to be different and stop trying to always change each other...two people can know where each stands with the other and know the fine lines on what can or can not be expected as far as asking for changes. Also, learning about assertiveness (methods of communicating that you'll need in order to establish boundaries in the first place) will likely aid in self-reflection so that you understand yourself much better than if you've been focusing on points your partner has been highlighting over and over and asking you to change.
This is why I'm so confused. I thought I was comfortable with being me. But I feel like I'm questioning myself after being in a relationship with him. I did tell him that I do want structure in my life. So he honestly believes he's trying to help me. Although, now I'm unsure of who I am. And if I even know who me is. Is it possible for me to live a successful happy life without rules? I do see a lot of his points, but I feel like they are things that he should be applying to our future kids or friends and family. Not me, the girlfriend. Shouldn't I get the privilege of letting some things slide? I do appreciate your suggestions, because no matter what I am going to be researching myself so that I may better define who I am right off the top of my head, with no hesitation.
Every word you have written on this issue I feel like I have experienced with my husband. He was perfect to start out and then he seemed to change overnight (soon after we got engaged). I often felt worn down and really emotionally on edge and his rules made me question myself a lot. We have been together 5 years now and about 3 years ago we reached a good balanced state, where I am now aware of my boudaries with him...and even though I am a little more relaxed than he is...I make sure I lay rules down for him too (at least equal to any I have to stick to). Once we reached that state he backed down a bit. Overall I feel like we are really happy with each other because we know each others boundaries and how to live with each other respectfully. I feel like we worked really hard to be happy and all that hard work has made our marriage stronger.
It sounds like you agree a lot with what he says....if you agree with something he is saying then just go with it and see how you feel.....
Just my experience...hope it helps. Good luck.
I can't think of any rules!!! He asked me to give him some, but I really don't feel comfortable doing that. And there's not much about him i want to change except that he be the sweet loving guy that i fell in love with. He gives me rules like, no drawing in the bed. No use of charcoal in the house. Don't turn the car stereo up past notch 10. And he has rules about my kids too. He refuses to do things with them until they respect him fully and are COMPLETELY disciplined. they are great kids and this is only their 2nd time seeing mom with another guy besides dad. and the first one they hardly saw at all. they sometimes do kid things that are disrespectful. im a single mom struggling and it's not easy. of course i want my kids to be well mannered and they are, but i do see a slight resentment towards him. so on top of him and i disputing, i am trying to convince the kids he's a great guy. but im scared to push him on them and then i break up with him. goodness gracious. watching my life unravel in an online forum can be quite depressing. Do I look like I am just full have issue after issue?
Any issue is made more complicated when kids are involved. I don't have kids so my experience was made easier because of that, also the kind of rules he is setting for you are not major issues (like keeping the music down)....if he is in the car, keep the music down, blast it out when he's not there.
Even if there isn't anything about him you wanna change you should still set rules just to make it a two way street.
This worries me, as I'm sure it does you too. They are not his kids. He HAS NO RIGHT to dictate to you or them. You say you see a 'slight resentment'? Trust me, this will grow if you don't nip things in the bud now.
Tell him, in front of the kids if need be, to leave the parenting to you. The kids don't have to respect anyone. Kids respect people who treat them well - end of.
Take your time with this relationship. You are young enough to find someone else if he isn't the one, and only time is going to tell. Time - and you learning to be more assertive.
Take a step back. Take the kids on holiday - just you and them, if that's at all possible. THEY are the most important things in your life, not him. Take some time out to analyse how your relationship is affecting your kids, and if they are affected (as they almost certainly are) draw yourself back a bit from this guy. I know you love him and he loves you, but this early in the relationship is a good time to start sorting the things that are going wrong.
I second that Izzy I wrote a hub the perfect three I know its for choosing a boyfriend but the three things on it may be of help to you when your analyzing the relationship. Just a thought hun x http://hubpages.com/_2mvhnosvzdmp0/hub/Perfect-Three
I just cringe when the first suggestions I observe from many people when asked to provide "relationship" advice - is "leave him/her" or "get rid of him/her."
I didn't attempt to encourage anything like that because at some point, in order for you and your partner to get into the mess you're in right now, you had to have both made decisions to carry on a serious relationship. It could just be that you are miscommunicating and misunderstanding each other. I can't judge who is right or wrong here or what you or your partner need. I only suggested things that are important for most people to practice in relationships and that enable people to communicate better with each other and know themselves better.
That note he wrote you was beautiful! There aren't many men who would take the time to write down what they feel about you, you have a found a treasure there.
As to his other behaviour, I think you need to stop stressing.
I've been through something similar. Everyone else called him a control freak, but I was the freak who bowed down to him, who was scared to put a foot out of place, who allowed him to take control and make decisions that affected me deeply and still do today, because I thought 'he knew better'. Well, I know better now.
He came to me at a really low point in my life and was a massive help at first, but took control while I was still recovering. But hey...I'm back! I'm one tough cookie and am far stronger than he will ever know (or be).
In fact he knows it now, I told him so and reinforce the message everytime he oversteps the mark.
But I can't imagine him ever writing such a note to me...I say again, that was beautiful.
Now you need to take control too.
Don't let yourself get riled up and upset over his behaviour. Just shrug and tell him "I should have expected you to react in such a way" and make it clear to him that you aren't bothered anymore.
You might be surprised at his reaction!
Good luck. In my experience couples who have 'boundaries' that they can't cross can still learn to live together in harmony. It just takes a little more work, and a little more disengaging of emotions.
Nice one Izzy - I think you have the best advice here so far - get strong JL.
i think ur right. there is so many other ways he is such an amazing man. if he's supposed to pick me up at 9 he'll be there at 8:45. He loves and respects his mom and parents so much he calls them his heroes and hopes to be half as good as them. he is so patient and self disciplined that he is willing to disrupt our once perfect relationship (of 5 months)so that he can mold me into what he considers a lifetime investment. I understand he know exactly what he wants in life, but what if I'm not the one. I just can't imagine being so angry at him sometimes and having to change my attitude or redefine myself as a person. I am seriously unhappy at moments where I just want to scream "LOOK AT ME!! PAY ATTENTION TO ME. HOLD ME." He says "I didn't realize you were that needy" But...Im not. I can't even remember the last time we kissed. I am still lost. How do you find yourself?
This disturbs me. You want him to mold you into what HE wants you to be? What about who YOU are?
I'm sorry if I'm coming across judgemental. Please forgive me for sounding so, but it just sounds as if you're very insecure and willing to be twisted easily. Just an instinct I have to wanna 'protect & warn'. I hope you don't take my words negatively.
i may have missed something along the way and i have not read your hubs.
I find myself wondering, how long you have been together.
is he in any way making you happy.
in some ways he is being kind, but in other ways he is destroying you......
i cant believe how helpful some hubbers have been, we should have an agony section on here, such good advice around
i met him 6 years ago and was super intrigued, but i was married. Then Nov. 14 I ran into him again. We have been inseparable ever since then, well these past few weeks we've been going a day or two without seeing each other. He didn't "officially" ask me until Dec. 17. I'm 28 and he's 32. I'm divorced with two kids. He's never been married, no kids, looks very young. I mean he's capable of a girl that has a lot less baggage, no crazy exes, no kids. We fell in love with each other simultaneously. I kept saying it was too good to be true...
He sounds a bit pompous to me. Are you making excuses for him? If you want more from the relationship why are you settling for crumbs?
"Beware of turning a few crumbs of attention into a whole cake; settling for crumbs now, in hopes of the whole cake later, may set you up for an empty plate."
Is he a perfectionist? Can you live with that? How about the "no affection" aspect? Is the end result of promptness and stability worth the cost of losing out on the warmth?
I haven't read all the posts, but from your original post, based on my interpretation, this is what it appears. I have a few hubs related to this very thing.
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