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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.
    How protective is your mate of you?
    Spankyrae posted:
    In Steve Harvey's book, "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man," he details the 3 P's a man needs to be able to give in a relationship (and also that these are factors that help you evaluate your relationship). One of those P's is protect. (The others are provide & profess...)

    This really made sense to me in his book. I've always kinda known it, but it really became clear. I still think about these P's & thankfully I have them in my relationship. Sometimes though I feel like my BF overdoes it with the protection... not in his actions, just in his words/concerns.

    For instance, tomorrow a bunch of classmates are getting together, an informal 15-year reunion of sorts. He mentioned tonight that he was kind of concerned because what if I start hanging out with these people again? "What kind of influence will that bring into your life?" he says.

    Other times I don't mind the concern (like him warning me about using Craig's List for used furniture). But in the past, he's mentioned me not dressing warm enough outside and then tonight... just makes me feel like he's playing a father role more than a boyfriend. I believe part of it too is I was a bit wild when we first got involved several years ago... which was part of his reasoning for us not being serious. I partied & wasn't my true self as much as I am now.

    Is this standard in your relationship? I just reassure him I'm ok... I don't know if there's anything else I could do to alleviate this?
    Spankyrae responded:
    In a way, I kinda feel like all I can do is say I'm fine & know how to take care of myself/that he can trust me, and the rest is on him... if he can't trust me beyond that, it is his issue and not mine.
    GuardSquealer responded:
    While my wife is very caring for me. I think I am the protective one. I guess I always had that Knight in Shining Armor syndrome. Her first marriage was abusive and she was dating a drug dealer when we got together. So I guess I thought I was rescueing her.

    I try to take care of her, and don't like her to worry about things. I used to not like her going out with her friends, but in the last couple years I am more tolerant of that. I just don't like her to drink and drive. We both did that too much when we were younger. But I seem to worry about it more nowadays.

    This board makes me think about life a lot and the funny paths it has taken. I can't imagine having a plan and trying to follow it, because my life has had so many changes and unexpected turns that I couldn't imagine having planned all of this.
    Spankyrae replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    I think it's great to be concerned for your wife, provided it's a legitimate concern (like drinking/driving). I also think it shows your love & maturity too. I know I never was much concerned about drinking/driving til recently. It's just so not worth it.

    Sometimes I get caught up in trying to notice red flags before... they become red, lol. That may be my motive here.... if he's gonna end up being one of those controlling men.
    GuardSquealer replied to Spankyrae's response:
    Well I know that I was a little jealous when we were together at first. After her divorce she was a little wild. And she had told me that some of her friends didn't think her and I should be together. Mainly because I thought she should settle down a little. And for a few years I guess I was a little controlling and used to make her feel guilty quite a bit. Plus I just did things to hurt her self-esteem.

    I guess I thought if she didn't think highly of herself I would seem more important. But I realized one day what I was doing and quit it. I wrote her a letter of apology.

    So yea I guess he could be being a little controlling. Especially since he knows about your wild days. That can be a little intimidating to a guy. And if you are wanting to get together with some people from those days it could make him feel insecure.

    At some point he has to come to trust you and your relationship with him. It took me a long time to realize my weakness in that area. And to overcome it. I still have a little bit of jealousy now and then. I have never asked any questions about her sex life prior to us getting together because that has always been an area with any woman that I was with that for some reason made me feel extremely jealous.

    One thing that brought some of my behaviors to my attention was listening to a set of tapes I purchased. I think it was called "light her fire" and there is a set "light his fire" for the woman. We bought them to try to spark our relationship and help me be more romantic. And it made me realize a lot of things I was doing. I will let you know whom they were by tomorrow. You can find them on Ebay I am sure if you just type in " light his fire". It might help him see his controlling ways.
    fcl responded:
    Mine doesn't do the "protect" thing at all which is just as well because I don't think I'd like it. It would annoy the heck out of me if he reminded me to dress up warm ... as if I weren't capable of knowing how to dress appropriately... Maybe it's just the way I was brought up? My parents gave me the facts about a lot of things (my father was a policeman and believed that forewarned was fore-armed...) and just let me get on with it.

    OTOH, we probably are about as far from traditional roles as you can get... lol.
    Spankyrae replied to fcl's response:
    I'm still trying to determine if it's controlling behavior or not...

    FCL, that is how I feel. Like I don't know how to dress warm or behave?! Sometimes I'll respond with, "OK, Dad!"

    Guard, my friends in high school were pretty tame & we were all pretty responsible. A lot of things I tried/did were after I graduated. I can see where he's concerned because of my wild days, but he still has to get over that. I think he's still working through those insecurities of my past because he'll mention he doesn't like to think of me in a way that's different than who I am today. I know he's also had some wild days but like you I don't wanna think of them. The past is in the past, and for me I know those days don't dictate who my true self is.

    But yes, lemme know about those tapes please.
    sallyfirst responded:
    I knew a pastor that lost his wife after her reunion. She left him for an old classmate.

    My men have always been protective of me.
    TheDeepBlue responded:
    I think in general men are genetically protective. But I see a diffence between caring-protective and insecure-controlling.

    Protective is making sure the family is out of harms way, genuinely caring for the safety and well being of his wife, etc.

    Controlling comes from the fear of his losing some poer over her, which somehow threatens him.

    I admire and respect a man who is protective of me, as long as it does not bleed into hovering in a way that he treats me like a child. It actully feel good for a man to somewhat protective. Like I sait I think its in their genes. Like we as women are protective of our kids. Its natural.
    TheDeepBlue replied to TheDeepBlue's response:
    Coincidentally I was just talking to a friend about something sort of related. We were talking about defending your SO when it comes to verbal assalut.

    When I was married, but falling out of love with my husband, friends and family would make remarks that were unkind about my husband. I was indifferent, and it didn't realy ruffle my feathers.
    But just yesterday, a friend of mine said something about my fiance that was presumptuous and off color. I found myself shutting her down quickly and expressing me defense at her remark. So there is also that kind of protectiveness...
    Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:
    My husband is a protective person by nature. Me, the kids, his dad...he has a true investment in our comfort and well-being.

    I appreciate this side of him, because in past relationships I have assumed the more protective role, and have not had it returned. And for me, personally, the fact that I was not the "protect-ee" made me feel less than cared for and valued.

    My husband has asked me not to shop at the Wal-mart on the less desireable side of town b/c there have been incidents of purse snatching and people being harassed in the parking lot. And although I THINK I can take care of myself, and that it is likely everything would be fine, there is a part of me that recognizes that I think the world is filled with rainbows and butterflies and that simply is not the case. It's nice to have someone watch out for your best interest sometimes.

    Even though the nearest grocery store is litterally 2 minutes from our house he ALWAYS makes those late evening (after dark) runs for milk or other necessities. He teases me and says, "It's not right for a lady to be out after dark unescorted..." But I know that it is something that worries him. And I don't find that in the least bit controlling.

    He is very clear on the fact that he cherishes me and does not want anything to happen to me. So if he can do small things to insure my comfort, safety and well being then not only does he not mind doing so, he embraces the opportunity to do so.

    All that said, I am the exact same way with him. I may not be able to physically protect him in quite the same way he can me, I can do things that make his life more comfortable and that make him feel 'cared for'.
    SMITHRL responded:
    My b/f isn't overly protective. He doesn't threaten to beat anyone. But if I'm misstreated by anyone he'll be the first person to put them in their place. He's a gentleman most of the time, but if the time calls for him to be an A-hole he has no problem putting that hat on and taking care of business :0)
    GuardSquealer responded:
    Well obviously you have to decide what is being protective and what is being controlling. Taking away the danger is one thing, being affraid you might have fun without them is another. And of course the insecurity that you might leave them for another is you are out having fun. I came in to work 2nd shift again today. So I will get the name of the author and tapes for you this weekend.
    Spankyrae replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    We check in with each other, as a courtesy to let the other know we're home safe & sound when we go out without each other, and that's not often. That feels different than him mentioning to me he had a concern about reconnecting with friends I haven't even begun to see again or that he hasn't met.

    I will be more aware to it if it happens again... sometimes I get this rebellious streak and get oppositional too. Reminds me of when I was younger and people/family would try to tell me I should do one thing & I'd be defiant, wanting to learn the lesson on my own even if it was gonna be a tough one. That's how I feel sometimes still, even though he hasn't told me not to do anything, just expressed concerns.

    Oy, eventually I will get the hang of this serious relationship thing right?
    ailurophile79 replied to Spankyrae's response:
    I think you're doing just fine, Spanky!

    I'm reminded of a quote by Margaret Mead: "One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night." Hopefully our partners would do more than "wonder" where we are, but I think the message is pretty clear that we all want our loved ones to be concerned about our safety and general well being.

    I had a boyfriend who was wholly committed to "taking care of" me. I loved that side of him... until the red flags popped up that showed some underlying insecurities and control issues he had. One afternoon, a friend came to meet me at work so that we could do some Christmas shopping together. He wanted to take my car to the store. My car wouldn't start, so my friend gave me a jump. A half mile down the road, the battery died. We ended up making a detour to a battery shop where I purchased a new battery. Not a big deal - but then later when I told my boyfriend what had happened, he was very upset that I didn't call him. "I'm your boyfriend, I'm supposed to take care of that stuff for you. That's what I'm here for." "Yes, but J had a set of jumper cables in his truck and we took care of it." Yet that wasn't enough of an explanation; he reiterated that he should have been the one to help me out.

    I've lived alone most of my adult life, so I've grown accustomed to doing things for myself. Basic household things like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, etc. When this boyfriend moved into my house, he took over a lot of those jobs. He wanted to take care of us, and "our family", which was great and very much appreciated. However, if one day I'd come home and take the trash out, or start mowing the lawn, he'd come rushing out and scold me for it, arguing with me to leave the trash (in the middle of the driveway!) so that he could take it out. While I think his intentions were overall good, it felt less like he was taking care of us but rather controlling me with his "kindness". Sounds strange put that way... just one of the many power struggles in our relationship.

    That might have been slightly off topic (and rambly!) but I think the takeaway is we need to evaluate when our partners are caring for ("protecting") us because they have our best interest in mind, or if there reasons for doing so are a bit more self-serving.

    And while your beau probably DID have your best interest in mind by suggesting warmer clothing, that's just annoying! I probably would have had a cocky remark for him on that one. Then again, I could totally see myself making a similar comment to somebody if I thought their attire was not appropriate for the weather

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