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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Insecure with my own boyfriend
    jamieleno posted:
    I have been having a really hard time with my body image and insecurities lately and my boyfriend doesnt help me at all. We have had numerous discussions about how he makes me feel and it seems he never learns from it. He says he will change and ge understands but I never happens. For instance most of the time if I ever want or need a compliment I have to ask him for it or compliment him first. Basically I have to go fishing for compliments. I have gone 3 weeks before not "fishing" to see what happens and ofcourse not one compliment. I would dress up and do my makeup and make sure I looked good for him when he got home and still, nothing. Also our sex life has take. A major plunge into the deep end lately. Before in our earlier days we would make love all the time, try new things, he made me feel wanted. But now I'm lucky if we make love once a week. I will literally be naked in bed and be being really flirty and touching him and he won't take his eyes off of the computer or the t.v or he just falls asleep. He also never touches me down there or my "girls" and he never performs oral on me anymore either. I have tried to talk to him about this but his ego just gets crushed and it starts a huge fight. I don't feel like a woman anymore. I feel gross and unattractive. Today I was telling him that I feel bad about myself and that I feel fat and he didn't say anything to make me feel better basically jut ignored it. I was sad and after wasn't talking much to him and he kept asking what was wrong. I told him I don't want to tell you because it will start a fight and he kept asking so I told him that he doesn't make me feel beautiful and that I don't even like being naked in front of him anymore and he just said he's sorry, nothing else. Nothing about how he feels about me and my looks. We were on an hour long drive to meet his friend and the entire ride was quiet, with me tearing up, and when we got here he called his friend immediately to come get us and looked over at me and said what's wrong. Now I'm stuck here in a horribly depressed mood and he is just ignoring it. I feel so messed up inside. I don't understand why if he loves me so much and thinks I'm the only attractive woman and the woman he wanTs to marry, he doesn't act like it.
    queston responded:
    You didn't give your ages, but your bf sounds very immature and self-absorbed to me.

    For whatever reason, what you are saying just isn't getting through to him. Perhaps you need to be more blunt--tell him you are ready to break up unless the following changes are made (and be very specific about what changes you expect).

    His reaction to that will tell you everything you need to know.
    FCL responded:
    No offence but ... don't you think it's time he got proper help for his issues? It sounds like the pot isn't really helping him on the "human" plane. It may be making him feel OK but he's not functioning like a normal human being of his age.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    longduckdong46 replied to FCL's response:
    I couldn't agree more with FCL, and I have expressed this to jamieleno before, but it's like beating a dead horse.

    His mind is not where it should be. It is in no way the the best baseline to begin a happy relationship.
    Spankyrae responded:
    This is a good example of when we go looking for fulfillment in our mates, that we should search for within ourselves. It's perfectly ok to like being complimented, and yes, sometimes it may really help perk us up... but we should also be able to feel beautiful on our own, without needing to hear it from someone else. That's what I think the true source of the problem comes from... that and the other huge issues going on in your relationship that are affecting other areas. Have you tried counseling, for these romantic issues and the other stuff individually?
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    I agree with FCL and longduckdong. I don't have any experience personally with pot smoking, but I can tell you that when my dad smoked it, he was just numb to everything, all the time. He didn't care about anything, just went through the motions, and was really indifferent toward life in general.

    As far as looking to your BF for fulfillment, I didn't get that you were doing that. Maybe I read it differently? I simply thought that you were saying you need the man you love to make you feel like HE thinks you are desirable and beautiful. I get that.

    Clearly you are not ugly OR fat, so don't think that's why your BF isn't acting like he's into you.

    I guess you could also consider the possibility that the two of you have come to a crossroads of sorts in your relationship. I know you love him but I think like the others have said, there are a lot of issues in both your lives right now, and until you are both fixed individually, you can't have a successful relationship together.

    jamieleno replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    Hey guys = ) thanks for all the imput.

    Well to start i guess i should mention that i have tried on many occasions to get through to him that maybe he should see a professional and talk about getting medication, but he gets very defensive and refuses and says he doesn't need it. He does show bi polar tendancies but on very few occasions, and only if we are in an argument which these days is very rare. There have been maybe 3 small arguments since the first time i posted here and maybe 2 of them have gotten out of hand, mainly because of his issue, where he has said he can't handle the way he's feeling and it would be easier if he didn't have to care about anyone but himself anymore. I had it with him saying that so i started packing his things both times and it always ended with him telling me he's sorry but he cant help feeling that way sometimes but he doesnt mean it he loves me more than anything and he just feels like he is failing me and that i need someone who can do more for me, but he will try and he will never let me go and he wants me to be his wife and so on.

    I do believe him, I know him better than I know myself, and he is an amazing person, not self centered at all, and he does care about me more than he cares about anyone including himself, but his mental health issue is really hurting me at times. I cant help but feel insecure at times thinking about how he has said he would rather be without me, even though i know for a fact he doesn't mean it. But, there is no way in hell, earth, or heaven that he is going to get on medication. Just not an option.

    Im 23 and he's 20. The day I wrote that post I had a talk with him a while after and I was very blunt, and he seemed to have understood and he felt really bad because he could tell how hurt I was. There's no way I will tell him im ready to break up with him though, because im not. I would never leave him. In my mind he is my husband, and i have vowed to work through every problem we have and never turn to "divorce". He also feels the same way, and the last time he had one of his "break downs" when everything calmed down we had a talked and he promised the same and swore he would never say those things again unless he really meant it, which he never will.

    I guess in my original post i was really hurt and i failed to mention how wonderful every other part of our relationship has been. The issue of me feeling like he doesnt think im beautiful is the only issue we have. He shows me he is still in love with me like there is no tomorrow. Always has. More than i think any girl could ask for. I just think, and its very strange to me because ive never encountered anything like this from a youngish teen to early 20's male, that he really isnt very sexually driven. It was different in the very beginning but we were both new to each other so there was a lot of excitement, which i still have, and he tells me he has it too, but the combination of him working long hours far away and the pot smoking makes him tired. He has offered to not smoke on his way home from work anymore (which is the only time he smokes daily, once a day) but i feel bad telling him ok id rather you not.

    So i guess when it all comes down to it i really don't know what is going on here, because everything else is going swimmingly in our relationship. It sucks because he feel's like I am just always unhappy with him in some way or another, and he knows that my reason are good, but he sometimes also thinks that maybe he just isnt good enough for me and i should find someone else. He tells me he thinks im the only beuatiful or sexy or pretty woman in the universe and that he is still just as attracted to me as he was, he says he thought he showed it and had no idea i felt this way, and that now that he knows he will try, but thing is he tries for a few days then he forgets about it.

    This is not a deal breaker for me, he treats me like a princess in all other ways, i just wish i didn't feel so undesirable.
    cto312 responded:
    It takes two healthy, happy people to make one happy, healthy relationship.
    If you don't feel beautiful, confident or desirable about yourself no amount of ways he tells you or shows you is going to change that.
    If he is treating you like a princess and he loves you and tells you you're his universe... that should be enough. You should love him and know he loves you without him having to prove himself.
    When you start putting unattainable expecations on him... or pressuring him to compliment you or notice you a certain amount... it makes the relationship more of a chore then enjoyment.
    I was in a similar situation where it felt like I had to fill out a checklist whenever confronting my girlfriend.

    - Talk to her before petting the dog or acknowledging her friends.
    - Give her a hug.
    - Give her a kiss.
    - Notice if she cut or colored her hair.
    - Notice and compliment any new clothing or accessories.
    - Make eye contact.
    - Ask her about her day.
    - Say "I love you."
    - Hold her hand.
    If I were to miss any one of these it would start an arguement of how I didn't love her.
    It got to the point where she was counting down the days that I had said "I love you" last.

    I agree with spankyrae, try to find happiness in yourself. Spend some time with your friends, set your own goals and hobbies or things to accomplish with your boyfriend.
    If he's been avoiding you sexually, neglecting you to spend time with his friends or forgetting you during holidays and anniverseries... that's another story.
    If he's doing everything right but you just aren't feeling pretty... the changes need to start with you.
    gd9900 replied to cto312's response:
    I agree with what cto312, and a few others have said. The word that caught my attention is "insecure". Security comes from within...the only person you can change is yourself. People are capable of changing but it is not his responsibility to change for you, only for himself. He can choose to be supportive of you on his own accord...he is acting in a way that is natural for him and it doesn't feel good enough. Asking him to give you something he cannot and making it an expectation is quite possibly sending a message of unacceptance to him. He doesn't want to disappoint you, my guess is he may be telling you what you want to hear to appease you.It makes sense to me why at times he would send a message of rejection back at you. That may be the only way he feels he can express the reality of his feelings with you. Even if he doesn't mean it now, eventually this issue could bring him to a breaking point.

    Have you thought about counselling for yourself? I think it would help for you to explore what's behind your negative self-image and insecurity.

    I'm curious if the pot smoking and plunge in sexual activity coincides with the beginning expressions of this issue w/bf?

    Not putting everything on you...your bf seems to have issues he is struggling with also. Its up to him to take responsibility for himself. I wish you both the best!
    jamieleno replied to gd9900's response:
    Hey guys,

    well first of let me say cto312 the relationship you described sounds very stressful and it seems like your gf had some very deep seeded insecurities that she thought would be eased if you followed all of her rules. Thats very sad and i hope she has gotten help and had better luck in her other relationships. Or if you guys are still together i hope its gotten better.

    My relationship with my boyfriend is nothing like that though. I don't sit and examine my bf looking for things that prove he doesn't love me and call him out on them. Thing is he does everything I think i perfect lover should do, (falling short on the sexuality and making me feel beautiful obviously), but everything else is perfect. He always wants to be around me, always asking if theres anything he can do for me, always asking how my day is, always saying he loves me and giving me hugs and kisses and holding me numerous times a day...

    Thing is, I have had a lot of issues with insecurity, but i never really felt ugly or unwanted all to often. I always kind of thought i was a catch and I was always told by my previous bf's and my bf now that they think i am out of their league and that i could have any guy i wanted. I didn't flatter myself that much but lets just say i could see where they are coming from, hah. My current boyfriend used to tell me things like that all the time..

    I wouldn't feel this way if there wasn't such a dramatic difference in the way that part of our relationship is now to how it used to be.. Especially when it comes to sex. Like i mentioned he used to always want it, and now im lucky if it happens once a week.

    I dont need compliments all of the time to feel good about myself, but it would be nice if it would at least happen sometimes. I want to feel like he still is attracted to me. He used to show me all the time how attractive he thought I was. Now he never shows or tells me. That combined with him seeming to not want to have sex with me either is really hurting my self esteem. Its not the same as it used to be. Not at all.

    Its hard to have security from the inside when you feel like the man you love more than anything doesn't feel the same way that he used too.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to jamieleno's response:
    I don't think it's unreasonable to want or need your SO to make you feel like you're desirable to them. Even if you feel beautiful, you still want that confirmation from the person you love. I understand.
    gd9900 replied to jamieleno's response:
    I do have an understanding of how sex frequency changes over time in a relationship, and how it can affect a persons self esteem.

    We all tend to go over the top pleasing our new mate in the beginning of a relationship...there's mystery, lust, heightened senses, all things say "this is freakin awesome, I want more!". It feels good being loved, wanted, and cared for. Those feelings carry over for a period of time until we reach a comfort zone with the other person...that's when things start to level off a bit. It feels like things have changed, but really we become comfortable enough to let our hair down a little. I think that may be what you are experiencing with your bf.

    Maybe its time to stop expecting him and/or asking him to give you something he can't. Put your big girl pants on and lay it on the line what your needs are in such a way that doesn't put him on the defensive. Put the ball in his court for him to decide what he can give you. Then take your next steps from there.
    cfisk replied to jamieleno's response:
    How many months has it been since the relationship began? I know you were saying that you are 23 and he's 20 and the relationship was sort of a "whirlwind romance" and within the first few months he was saying that he wanted to marry you.

    It may well be that the so-called "honeymoon stage" is over. The honeymoon stage---you know, the early months when a couple is falling in love and they can't get enough of each other, and every day they feel like they must tear each others' clothes off and they're crazy-passionate about each other.

    That's always wonderful, but there's no way a couple can keep that going forever. It's still important to have passion but there may not be that sense of urgency to have sex every day. Maybe he's just sort of settling into the "post-honeymoon stage": he still loves you but doesn't really care about "swingin' from the chandeliers" every night.

    I took the lazy way out and went over to Wikipedia to read about the side effects of pot smoking. It said that large amounts of THC have been shown to reduce testosterone levels in mammals. I'm just sayin' ...

    Also, he might be sleep-deprived.

    Is it possible that he's feeling worn out and exhausted by some of the earlier drama in your relationship? You were saying back in August that after that really tough phase with all of the arguing, he emerged from that phase seeming a bit shell-shocked, "hardened," like he was refusing to let his guard down. As he became emotionally distant, did he become physically distant around that time as well? Is it possible that he's thinking, "yes, I still love her and we're not arguing anymore, but this relationship is really hard and it's a lot of pressure and sometimes I'm just worn out and can't handle it."

    Also, I don't mean this in a condescending way, but both of you guys are so young! He's just barely out of his teens. The kind of "flip-flopping" behavior that you're seeing in him (sometimes he acts like he loves you, sometimes he's distant, sometimes he seems to want to pull away, sometimes he doesn't) ---to me that just seems like normal behavior for a 20-year-old. I know it's hard to believe, but both of you are going to go through so much growth over the next decade. I firmly believe that most people are still growing up in their 20s and they're still figuring out a whole lot of stuff about themselves and what they want out of life and relationships. I think it's really good that you are putting marriage aside for now. Wait a few years, at least.

    This is really a side-issue but what's his schedule like? He drives for how many minutes/hours to his job? Is it a physically-demanding job? And then he wants to make time for his music so he's setting aside time to pursue his dream of being a musician. Just curious: what kind of music is he making? Is it stuff like electronica, ambient rock, or more jazz-oriented or guitar-based rock?
    jamieleno replied to gd9900's response:
    hey all. sorry its been a while since ive replied to anything. I have been so lazy and unmotivated lately since ive been rapidly coming down off of the methadone. I have been lurking the boards because i have an iphone so i can lay around or just do anything while reading but it takes more energy to get up and go to my awesome mac desktop that i dont use enough to reply, and replying on my phone is a pain in the you know what.

    First of all, gd9900, I do understand the honeymoon phase, I have been there and done that and was and always have been very aware of it in the relationship, but the problems ive been having are not related to that.

    "Maybe its time to stop expecting him and/or asking him to give you something he can't. Put your big girl pants on and lay it on the line what your needs are in such a way that doesn't put him on the defensive. Put the ball in his court for him to decide what he can give you. Then take your next steps from there."

    I dont really think im expecting anything from him except showing me he loves me and that hes attracted to me as much as he says he is when i ask. I have before on many occasions "put my big girl pants on" and "laid it on the line in a way that doesnt put him on the defensive". It doesnt matter how I say im not being pleased sexually and im feeling like less of a woman every day, he feel his man hood being threatened and criticized and becomes defensive and refuses to talk.

    Lucky i believe he's gotten the point and i think this problem is about to be history, but of course things had to get worse before they got better, and its been a real real tough week for us.

    cfisk, thank you for your response = ) I agree that the honeymoon stage obviously wont last forever and that it is still very important to have passion, I just feel that the passion absolutely dissapeared for a while. I also agree that the pot has played a major role. I wasnt sure until last night. We made love for the first time in weeks, right after he smoked, and he couldnt finish... that has never ever happened. We tried again today and he hadnt smoked yet and he was a minute man again. ha. Its unfortunate because smoking is the only thing that calms him down after a stressful day, well at least the only thing that he will partake of.

    Is it possible that he's feeling worn out and exhausted by some of the earlier drama in your relationship? You were saying back in August that after that really tough phase with all of the arguing, he emerged from that phase seeming a bit shell-shocked, "hardened," like he was refusing to let his guard down. As he became emotionally distant, did he become physically distant around that time as well? Is it possible that he's thinking, "yes, I still love her and we're not arguing anymore, but this relationship is really hard and it's a lot of pressure and sometimes I'm just worn out and can't handle it."

    You are very right about that as well. He has told me as much on a few occasions. He wont just let it go, he says hes not able to. I have on more than one occasion expressed to him that if he really cant get past it and its affecting him to the point of him not being happy with me anymore he can leave, with no hard feelings, although i could never be just his friend. He tells me its not just that that hes stressed about its also work and yes, your are correct, sleep deprivation. But he says if he wanted to leave me he would have done it a long time ago and that he is much happier with me and that he only feels like some times (like what your above post mentions).

    The flip flopping behavior you mention, although i agree with you on that in regards to most young men, is just not christopher. He isnt like that. I really feel he has a mental health issue and its SO FRUSTRATING knowing that he wont get help. He would honestly rather die than do that. It makes me sad because when i think about it i think that this could really be the end of us. I hope not, i try to help him when i can but ...
    jamieleno replied to cfisk's response:
    he can be hurtful when that happens.

    In regards to your last paragraph:

    He drives and hour and a half to work and an hour and a hald back and he works between 8 and 10 hours a day on top of the driving. He has most weekends off unless its really busy. He has a desk job so hes not physically exerting himself at all.
    He doesnt really have to worry about making time to make music instead of spending time with me because thats something we usually do together, and he plays with a friend on breaks at work.
    I suppose the type of music we make varies but most of it could be defined as indie dream pop or folk indie some electronica. I dont really know its hard to say because everyone would define it differently. We are waiting for a demo to be produced and it will be online soon so ill post the link so everyone can here

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