Author Topic: How to say I'm uncomfortable when I can't explain why exactly? - Update p22  (Read 14190 times)

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gramma dishes

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I kept reading and rereading and rereading the original post (and a subsequent one) and something about it made me feel very uncomfortable but I couldn't figure out what it was. 

It finally came to me that Kaymar says he hasn't participated in this sport for quite a while and that the ex-girlfriend also has not frequented the club or participated in the sport much, if at all, recently.

Suddenly out of the clear blue sky they both show up to participate on the exact same night after neither having done so for a long time? 

I don't doubt that the boyfriend had no idea his ex was going to be there.  But I don't feel as confident that ex-girlfriend didn't know he was going to be there. 

The timing seemed just a little too contrived to have been entirely coincidental.  That's what was making me uncomfortable. 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:49:06 PM by gramma dishes »

cross_patch

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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 don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

Yvaine

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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 don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

If I'm not mistaken, yes she is. She's deeply into a particular theory of marriage and relationships--she links to their website a lot--that espouses that belief. I really don't think it can be applied universally, though.

Sterling

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My husband and I love each other very much.  We spend the vast majority of our free time with each other.  However we have interests that we don't share.  I LOVE country music.  He LOATHES country music.  I had plans to see a very famous singer who I have enjoyed since childhood this past weekend but my mother, who I was attending with, got the flu the day before the show.  the show was in a city 4 hours away.  I had already purchased expensive tickets and prepaid for a hotel room.  I would have been out a sizable amount of money if I didn't go.  My husband once described listening to this music as less appealing than rusty forks stabbed in his ears.

I called up a friend and the two of us not only went to the show but stayed gone for a 3 day weekend.  I had a blast and in reality this was probably the last get way I will have for awhile since I just entered the third trimester.  My husband was happy for me and I got to share all the adventures my friend and I had with him.  He is taking a short trip next weekend for something similar.  And yes the friend he will be visiting in his far away trip is an old girlfriend.  Doesn't bother me a bit. 

All of that to say everyone has their different comfort levels in relationships and it isn't fair to say that one system of building a relationship or marriage will work for everyone.  some people are far to independent for that concept of sharing everything while it works for others.
93 93/93

Nora

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bopper: always having to do any fun thing you feel like doing with your spouse sounds more like prison than marriage. If we never experienced anything without the other one there DH and I would have run out of things to say around year 3.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

TurtleDove

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All of that to say everyone has their different comfort levels in relationships and it isn't fair to say that one system of building a relationship or marriage will work for everyone. 

My relationship sounds like yours, and it is more fulfilling than any other relationship I have had.  That said, our relationship is based on solid trust and no jealousy because we are both secure and have no reason not to trust the other.  My BF could (and does) have women throwing themselves at him, but it just makes me giggle because I trust him, and vice versa.  In past relationships, where I did not fully trust, this would not be at all okay - I would be worried and anxious.  It's the trust, not the behavior, that is the issue, in my experience.

thedudeabides

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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 don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

If I'm not mistaken, yes she is. She's deeply into a particular theory of marriage and relationships--she links to their website a lot--that espouses that belief. I really don't think it can be applied universally, though.

I guess I better tell my girlfriend that she can't go to her spin classes or knitting group anymore, because I'm sure not going with her...

Amava

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I guess I better tell my girlfriend that she can't go to her spin classes or knitting group anymore, because I'm sure not going with her...
You have a girlfriend? Then why are you talking to all us strange ladies online? How dare you!  ;D

In all seriousness, I think this can be discussed until the cows come home, but there will always be people who think a couple should spend all of their free time together, and on the flipside people who think independance and space is very important for a relationship.
Every person is different, every couple is different, and each couple needs to figure out what works best for them.
In my own relationship, we have a lot of activities we do on our own, but it works for us.
But I can imagine how "Try to find some activities you can enjoy together" (which is what Bopper said in the first place) is a valid advice if a couple feels they are not feeling close enough.

Doing things together and going to places together should always be for the reason that you /want to spend time together and bond/ , not for the reason of "wanting to keep an eye on each other in a controlling way."

I would not want to be with a partner who I felt I had to "control" to keep him from cheating and to keep him with me. And I also wouldn't want to be with a controlling partner. 

Dalek

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My hubby loves ( I mean absolutely LOVES) being in the woods and looking for reptiles. It's a huge part of him. I can't think of a worse way to spend my time. He's a member of a local group ( men and women) who do this regularly. I don't attend but I don't have a problem with him going without me. Sure we go do things together occasionally, but if I told him he could never do this again, he would be miserable. If he tried to force me to go, I would be miserable.  Neither of us want the other to be unhappy so we accept that because we have different interests we will be doing fun things with others. And that is perfectly okay. :-)
I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Fleur

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bopper: always having to do any fun thing you feel like doing with your spouse sounds more like prison than marriage. If we never experienced anything without the other one there DH and I would have run out of things to say around year 3.

Pod, pod and pod. I have never heard this idea that people can't have an interest outside their relationship. It is a very odd idea to me.

katycoo

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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.

There's a third level to this beyond the views shared above:

Even if you and DH can share an activity together, skill plays a part.

Eg.  My DH enjoys squash, and is fairly good.  We have had a lot of fun together on the squash court, with him teaching me to improve somewhat, but these aren't lessons (I'm not interested in doing drills), more friendly games with tips.

Every now and then, I'll fluke a good shot and win a point.  This is usually followed by me saying omethign smartarse about how brilliant I am, him cocking an eyebrow at me, and proceeding to wipe the floor with me.

Reminding me, that he is playing down to my level so that we can have fun together.  And we do have fun together. 

But being challenged in something you are good at is fun too.  Which is why DH plays competition squash too.  If he had an ex who was better than me, and who play comp as well, and sometimes they drew a game aginst each other, well, it happens.  I probably wouldn't be excited about it - his ex's are largly insane.  I might prefer to try to be present to cheer him on those nights.  But I woudln't ask him to stop an activity on the off chance he might see her.

Couple should do things together and things apart. But I fail to see how asking my DH to give up something he enjoys, or only play at a low level against me, would add to his overall happiness.

Casue I do know - when he is happy, I am more likely to be happy.

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.

I don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

I am saying that you can have interests separate from your partner, but you should both be on board with that.  And if you spend your time more with other people than with your spouse, that isn't as good for a marriage.

Would it be better for you and your spouse to take up doubles tennis together or for him to go every Saturday to play golf with his buddies while you are at home with the kids?

Moray

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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 don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

I am saying that you can have interests separate from your partner, but you should both be on board with that.  And if you spend your time more with other people than with your spouse, that isn't as good for a marriage.

Would it be better for you and your spouse to take up doubles tennis together or for him to go every Saturday to play golf with his buddies while you are at home with the kids?

Well, that's a false choice. For one, tennis is not golf. If my partner liked playing golf and had a regular group he liked to go with, heck yes!, I'd want him to go. Just because I'm home with the hypothetical kids that day doesn't mean that I can't go to book club, or pub quiz with my friends on Thursday night.

Furthermore, in this case the OP has no objections to her DH participating in Sport, and no objections to him participating in Sport without her. She felt uncomfortable with the ex showing up, and so discussed it with her DH. That's a healthy relationship, not one where "we both enthusiastically participate in [x activity] or it doesn't happen".

Utah

HannahGrace

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As the OP, it's interesting to see the directions this thread has traveled!  For what it's worth, I definitely don't think that couples need to or should coordinate all of their leisure time activities.  We spend plenty of time together and sometimes it is nice to have the house to myself!  In fact, this weekend he is traveling out of town to run an event related to the sport - I'm looking forward to getting my hair cut, watching movies he wouldn't care for, and seeing friends.  My issue related to my discomfort with this specific person as she relates to this activity and him.  As it happens, due to holidays and associated family time, as well as the flu, he actually hasn't been back for one of the open-event nights since I first posted.  But at this point, I'm truly OK with him sparring with her if and when they end up in the same place again.  I think part of it might have been my own pre-holiday stress making me a little emotionally short-fused, and also I felt better after getting the feedback here, so thanks again to everyone who weighed in.

cross_patch

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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 don't understand- are you saying you shouldn't have separate interests from your partner at all?

I am saying that you can have interests separate from your partner, but you should both be on board with that.  And if you spend your time more with other people than with your spouse, that isn't as good for a marriage.

Would it be better for you and your spouse to take up doubles tennis together or for him to go every Saturday to play golf with his buddies while you are at home with the kids?

Well, that's a false choice. For one, tennis is not golf. If my partner liked playing golf and had a regular group he liked to go with, heck yes!, I'd want him to go. Just because I'm home with the hypothetical kids that day doesn't mean that I can't go to book club, or pub quiz with my friends on Thursday night.

Furthermore, in this case the OP has no objections to her DH participating in Sport, and no objections to him participating in Sport without her. She felt uncomfortable with the ex showing up, and so discussed it with her DH. That's a healthy relationship, not one where "we both enthusiastically participate in [x activity] or it doesn't happen".

While I definitely agree with moray that it is a false choice, even if it were the same activity I would probably say the latter. Do you really think that partners shouldn't have time apart? I can't imagine how stifling that would be. What if your SO doesn't enjoy the activity? Should you be precluded from participating? It seems like forcing each other to spend all your free time together really only masks issues in a relationship- as though if you are together at all times, nothing can happen. But that doesn't change the fact that there are still issues there. I don't understand how that is sustainable. Is the idea behind it that the other person may cheat if given the opportunity? Forgive my ignorance, I have just not come across this idea before.