Author Topic: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly? - Update p22  (Read 13662 times)

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Kaymar

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 04:40:53 PM »
Rashea, those are great questions.  Thank you.  And yes, I will be very clear that he did nothing wrong last night, because I don't think he did.  Going through the questions, I think I fall somewhere in the middle of possible extremes - if I'd known she was going to be there, I would not have told him not to go at all.  But I also would not want him going out for drinks with just her.  Which isn't to say I would have a problem with him spending time with anyone he's ever dated - if he were friends with an ex, then presumably I would know the person a little bit and someone he'd choose to have in his life as a friend would be someone I'd be happy for him to hang out with.  He has great taste in friends.  Questions 4 and 7 are where I get a little stuck, because my answers are basically "I'd rather he didn't, but I'm not sure it's fair of me to ask him not to."

And Hmmmmm, you're pretty much hit every nail on the head and explained the whole scenario better than I did, and actually helped me see it more clearly myself - thank you.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 04:46:55 PM »
See what your BF says, but maybe you should socialize with him when his group socializes.  That would likely help put you at ease.

DavidH

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2012, 08:18:26 PM »
I think there are a couple of things going on.  Is it rude to tell him how you feel now, not at all.  You feel that way, it is what it is, and it's not about blame or saying he did something wrong.

I'm not sure about asking him not to do it again.  One one level, you can ask, since what's the harm in that.  But that type of request seems to carry greater weight and pressure to agree to.  A related question is how you will react if he doesn't agree.  It seems odd to say, I don't know why, but I don't want you to do this again.  It doesn't sound like a particularly intimate situation, you haven't suggested he wants her back, so if the concern is more about not having had time to adjust to the idea, then it seems like a middle grounds is to see if you adjust to it when you've had more time to think about it or if it continues to make you uncomfortable.  If you continue to be uncomfortable, then you can ask at that time, when you've at least had more opportunity to think it over.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2012, 09:45:05 PM »
I think there are a couple of things going on.  Is it rude to tell him how you feel now, not at all.  You feel that way, it is what it is, and it's not about blame or saying he did something wrong.

I'm not sure about asking him not to do it again.  One one level, you can ask, since what's the harm in that.  But that type of request seems to carry greater weight and pressure to agree to.  A related question is how you will react if he doesn't agree.  It seems odd to say, I don't know why, but I don't want you to do this again.  It doesn't sound like a particularly intimate situation, you haven't suggested he wants her back, so if the concern is more about not having had time to adjust to the idea, then it seems like a middle grounds is to see if you adjust to it when you've had more time to think about it or if it continues to make you uncomfortable.  If you continue to be uncomfortable, then you can ask at that time, when you've at least had more opportunity to think it over.

I agree with this. I think it's totally fine for you to feel uncomfortable about it, and it would be great to talk to him about it honestly. But I try to picture someone asking me not to participate in an activity I love, in conjunction with someone I used to date, and it just seems really wrong to me. What would be great is if you guys were talking about this, and he spontaneously said of his own accord, "I felt really weird about it, so I think I'm just not going to get into that situation with her again." This is all just my personal take on it.

I think there's a big difference between someone deciding not to do something themselves, and their SO asking them as a personal favor not to do it. Especially when it involves perfectly innocent behavior, in public view, with an ex--there's so many ways that can go downhill. I think it's perfectly okay to say, "I feel uncomfortable that this happened," but I personally would not feel right adding, "So I want you to not do it again."
~Lynn2000

Devix

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2012, 12:33:59 AM »
People have every right to feel what they feel but if I was your BF this kind of reaction would be a red flag for me.

If it is something that is bothering you you should definitely try to communicate with him but you have to be very very careful with how you go about it because you could easily put him on the defensive and make him wonder if you even trust him.  Feelings aren't unreasonable but actions and demands can be.  Personally, I would be very annoyed if my S/O asked me to stop doing something I enjoy because it involved interaction with a former flame who is apparently in another relat-ionship. 

Talk to him but first try and sort out your own feelings.  When you do talk tell him how and why you feel uncomfortable but I think it would be unreasonable of you to ask him to stop.  If he chooses to stop participating that's fine but I also think he's perfectly within his right to continue doing something he enjoys and that seems fairly innocent.

Danika

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2012, 03:45:02 AM »
I think it's good that you're trying to figure out *why* this bothers you.

I had a roughly similar experience with my DH when we first started dating and so I'll ask you a few questions and then tell you my story.

-If you thought your BF would go participate in this sport in the future but would never ever run into Ex again, would you feel more at ease? So, is the issue not necessarily what transpired - that they competed against each other - but more that it might happen again and again and again?

-Are you worried that she still has feelings for him and might try to use this to get him back?

-Are you worried that he might fall for that?

Before we were dating, my DH and his exgirlfriend broke up for various reasons, but one was that she was cheating on him. Based on what he's told me, she did it to get back at him because he wouldn't marry her. So, she wanted him, he wasn't as interested in her as she was in him, and so she handled it by being mean and unfaithful. They broke up and parted ways.

My DH has worked on cars a lot and rebuilt one of his by himself, so he is an expert on this brand of car.

Fast forward a few months. He and I were dating. We were on the phone and he told me "Oh, exgirlfriend stopped by today because she wanted to ask a favor of me." She had bought a used car, of the brand that DH knows a lot about, and she wanted him to look at the engine and inspect it and make sure that it was a reliable car. So he did.

I was pretty angry, but didn't say anything other than "oh." I mulled it over for a few hours. Later, I told him that the situation upset me and he couldn't understand why. I 100% trusted him. I was not worried that he was interested in her. But I was mad because:

1) She had hurt him in the past
2) She had the gall to come and ask him for a favor, after having hurt him so deeply
3) He was naive/nice enough to acquiesce and help her

I knew she was still interested in him. I felt that he was inadvertently leading her on. He was not interested, but by not saying "Back off" he was giving her a green light to continue. And I was afraid she was going to keep showing up and showing up asking for favor after favor, using the "but we're friends now" and "I just need help" routines. I didn't want to be in a threesome where I'm dating him, but he's often interrupting something we're doing together to go help her or do her a favor.

I felt like he just wasn't ripping off the band-aid. He was trying to be "nice" but it was "nice" to her, and not to our future relationship. Time and energy that he could be putting into our relationship, he would be using to continue to do her favors. That is, if she kept coming back for more and more favors.

I told him she should go to the other man, the one she'd been cheating on my DH with, and ask him to look over her car. Or to pay a mechanic. No need to ask my DH for favors.

I said all of this calmly. And I didn't ask him never to see her again. I just warned him that, in her mind, he was leading her on, and that if he kept saying yes to the favors, she would keep asking for them.

She did try several more times, but because I'd warned him that she'd "need his help" again, he was on to her and told her no the next couple of times until she stopped.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2012, 08:25:39 AM »
Off topic, but I can't understand the logic of cheating on someone to get back at them for not marrying you. Just break up!? Few people would be more inclined to marry a cheater!

Kaymar

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Thanks, everyone who weighed in - all of your thoughts are very helpful.

We had a long car ride to dinner at a family friend's last night so I talked to him about things - turned out I was wrong that he was feeling weird about it, because he was clearly taken aback when I brought up my discomfort.  He immediately felt terrible and apologized all over the place, so it took a while to convince him that he really didn't do anything wrong and that I wasn't upset with him, and in fact if I were in his position, I'm sure I would have behaved exactly as he did because I wouldn't have been prepared for that situation to arise (once I got this last part across, he finally believed me that I wasn't upset and he relaxed). 

With that out of the way, we had a somewhat awkward but respectful discussion.  I explained as best I could why I was uncomfortable (the insular nature of their sport, the fact that this was something they shared for five years with this group of people at the club, the fact that neither of us had a chance to think about or discuss in advance what kind of boundaries we would prefer in terms of this ex of his, and my specific issues with this ex based on some rudeness toward me in the past that isn't worth getting into here).  He offered to stop participating in the sessions at the club altogether if it made me unhappy since I make him happier than this sport does - which I told him was not at all what I wanted.  I asked him what HE wanted, ideally, including some of the questions Rashea raised - i.e. if folks were going out for drinks, including her, would he want to go?  (Answer - maybe if it was a big group of people, but if it were just her and a couple of others, he would not want to) and did he want to participate in the sport with her in the future if she shows up at these open-club nights?  The answer to that was, yes, because she's pretty good at the sport and he gets a higher level of competition from playing against her than some of the other folks who show up at the club. 

So, that last answer told me everything I needed to know - he enjoys this sport, is happy to be getting back into actively practicing it after a long hiatus, and she specifically gives him an opportunity to practice it in a more helpful / useful way than other folks (at least the folks who were there on Weds).  We didn't come to a joint conclusion because we arrived at our destination (and had a fabulous time, which helped diffuse any weirdness from the conversation itself), but my personal conclusion is that I will be getting over myself.  If she shows up, she does.  He invited me to come along with him anytime and hang out at the club, so I'll think about whether I want to do that or whether I'm better off going to play trivia with my friends or doing something else.

Anyway, thanks for all of the advice - I really appreciate it.

Yvaine

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly?
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2012, 10:27:04 AM »
My now-husband and I faced a somewhat similar situation early in our dating relationship.  It was definitely different than yours (in that my DH's ex was actively trying to start problems with our relationship), but the way I explained it to him was that he had a lot of history with her that he didn't (yet) have with me.  For example, she knew his family and their issues, so talking to her about them was "easier" than talking to me and needing to give all the background, etc.  Essentially, I didn't want our new intimacy to be eroded because he started talking to her because it was "easier" than it was to build up that understanding and intimacy with me. 

This is actually a really good insight that's useful to my own life--thanks!

MrTango

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly? - Update p22
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2012, 11:11:11 AM »
It sounds like you had a good conversation and both of you were able to talk about your feelings about this!

Awesome!

Hmmmmm

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Re: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly? - Update p22
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2012, 12:55:52 PM »
It sounds like you guys have an extremely healthy and supportive relationship.  Glad you had a good conversation.

bopper

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I'll tell you why you were uncomfortable...one of the ways we fall in love is by doing fun things with people we are interested in.  When you are first dating you do lots of fun activities.  So your guy spent his time having fun not with you, but with an exGF.  That is not good.
Truly what you should do is find an activitiy that you both enjoy so your most enjoyable times are spent together, and not with others.

Fleur

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I'll tell you why you were uncomfortable...one of the ways we fall in love is by doing fun things with people we are interested in.  When you are first dating you do lots of fun activities.  So your guy spent his time having fun not with you, but with an exGF.  That is not good.
Truly what you should do is find an activitiy that you both enjoy so your most enjoyable times are spent together, and not with others.

I think that this statement is far too sweeping. I don't disagree that the OP and her boyfriend should spend a lot of time together, that is what relationships are about. But I think that a sign of a healthy and trustful relationship is not having to always be in each others' pockets, and be able to have hobbies and interests outside the relationship. It sounds as if the OP had a good talk with her boyfriend, and that she was able to get to the bottom of just why the situation made her uncomfortable. It wasn't that her boyfriend had an interest that wasn't tied up in her, it was that there was a social history with the ex and this sport. All that is required is for the OP's boyfriend not to spend too much time with the ex playing this sport. The OP has said that she has no desire for him to give it up altogether.

Mental Magpie

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I'll tell you why you were uncomfortable...one of the ways we fall in love is by doing fun things with people we are interested in.  When you are first dating you do lots of fun activities.  So your guy spent his time having fun not with you, but with an exGF.  That is not good.
Truly what you should do is find an activitiy that you both enjoy so your most enjoyable times are spent together, and not with others.

I think that this statement is far too sweeping. I don't disagree that the OP and her boyfriend should spend a lot of time together, that is what relationships are about. But I think that a sign of a healthy and trustful relationship is not having to always be in each others' pockets, and be able to have hobbies and interests outside the relationship. It sounds as if the OP had a good talk with her boyfriend, and that she was able to get to the bottom of just why the situation made her uncomfortable. It wasn't that her boyfriend had an interest that wasn't tied up in her, it was that there was a social history with the ex and this sport. All that is required is for the OP's boyfriend not to spend too much time with the ex playing this sport. The OP has said that she has no desire for him to give it up altogether.

I agree with Fleur 100%.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

gollymolly2

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I'll tell you why you were uncomfortable...one of the ways we fall in love is by doing fun things with people we are interested in.  When you are first dating you do lots of fun activities.  So your guy spent his time having fun not with you, but with an exGF.  That is not good.
Truly what you should do is find an activitiy that you both enjoy so your most enjoyable times are spent together, and not with others.

Agree with the others that this is alarmingly overbroad. Sure, if one partner has 100% of their fun with other people, that's concerning. But people have diverse interests and its probably healthiest for a couple to enjoy some things together and enjoy alone time/time with others together.