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#446430 - 09/04/13 09:42 PM She Reached Out. (Quick Update.)
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL

Hi Guys. As many of you know by now, I've only had one serious relationship in my entire adult life and that relationship lasted a year. The woman I was involved with was someone who had been my friend for years before we tried a relationship and was someone who knew about all my issues going in, including the CSA and whatnot. In the year that we were together, we easily had sex less than 15 times. Maybe even less than 10. Although, it's kind of hard to say, seeing as we were normally really drunk when it happened, so a lot of those times are pretty cloudy.

I think she went into it honestly thinking that she could handle my issues and could learn to live with them but after a year it became clear to her that she could not. First and foremost I think because of my crippling sexual timidity and second because of my absolute cluelessness regarding how to behave in a relationship. Or, perhaps those two main reasons are/were vice versa, I'm not 100% sure but I am sure those are the two main reasons.

At the end of the day, it became clear to me that I will only ever know how to love another person as a friend, but I will never know what it's like to love another person as more than that. Anything more than that feels suffocating and dirty. I had no business being in a relationship with my long-time friend, (or with anyone), and when she broke up with me about three years ago, I was relieved. However, about a year ago, she told me that she could no longer have contact with me and that was that. I was disappointed but I felt that I understood.

Anyway, a few days ago she messaged me on Facebook and wanted to reconnect. I was really happy to hear from her and I still am. In fact, I am going to see her and some of her friends for her birthday party on Saturday and I'm pretty excited about it. However, I'm a little nervous about one aspect of it.

I'm about 90% certain she knows that sex just isn't an option for me but there is a little part of me that worries she'll want to give it one more shot and if she does, that will be a very difficult situation for me to handle. I am comfortable with her, I am comfortable with her affection, I would even be comfortable sharing a bed with her in the right circumstances and even cuddling a little in that bed would be ok. Just as long as she would know that is where the boundary would be. I almost wish I could tell her all that but I'm afraid it would piss her off at me again.

One thing that my relationship with my ex proved to me was this. I will, never, ever, EVER, EVER be comfortable with sexual intimacy. I was about as comfortable with her as it is possible to be with another person and I still couldn't handle it. Fumbling into the sexual encounter like a fool, not knowing what to do or how to pick up on ques from a partner, and all the while trying to look cool, collected and confident when on the inside I legitimately look something like this......




Ok, not exactly like that. I don't have red hair or a long, pointy head. Otherwise, that's exactly what I look and feel like on the inside during a sexual encounter, even with someone I care about and am comfortable with.

So, I guess if nothing else this should be interesting. We'll see where it all goes. Hopefully our friendship will be stronger in the end having been through what we've been through together. There may be some murky waters and unclear boundaries to wade through at first but hopefully those won't be as murky as I'm worried they may be. Either way I'm happy to have her back in my life. Take care. Peace,

Ken


Edited by BraveFalcon (09/09/13 12:15 PM)

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#446433 - 09/04/13 11:05 PM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: BraveFalcon]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 313
Loc: NY
Ken:

Excuse me for saying so but I'm a believer in embodiment for the sake of accuracy, a.k.a. authenticity. At present there exists a strong possibility that at some point in the next 24 hours, whether I'm with someone or not, I will look and feel somewhat like him also!

On a more serious note, she sounds like a warm person and a good friend. Hope you get a chance to appreciate that at whatever distance you are comfortable with.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#446438 - 09/04/13 11:42 PM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: BraveFalcon]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 268
Loc: PA
Ken,

First I just want to say that I'm happy she reached out to you - so cool for you in many ways I'm sure.

It sounds like you both know each other really well and for her to reach out to you again means she cares. I bet if things go down the road you are afraid of that you will be able to tell her your boundaries and that she will be okay with that.

I'm a firm believer in pushing my own boundaries so I would say that it might be a good idea to think about what you ARE okay with doing and stating that as well as what you aren't okay with IF it comes to that.

Best of luck and I hope you are able to really enjoy the rekindled friendship with her.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#446439 - 09/05/13 12:02 AM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: BraveFalcon]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1466
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: BraveFalcon
In the year that we were together, we easily had sex less than 15 times....Although, it's kind of hard to say, seeing as we were normally really drunk when it happened, so a lot of those times are pretty cloudy......One thing that my relationship with my ex proved to me was this. I will, never, ever, EVER, EVER be comfortable with sexual intimacy.
Hi Ken,
I feel for you....this is all really tuff stuff for me too. Just a few thought you might consider:

  • If I read you right this lady was a friend, then a lover, then she broke up with you, then she cut you off completely, and now she wants to re-establish contact. You assume (like I often do) that the problem is all you. It sounds like she has some issues herself. Maybe you know why she broke up with you, but do you know why she cut you off? And why now she wants to reconnect? It seems to me that the answers to those questions might be helpful to know, before getting too deep into any kind of renewed relationship or friendship with this woman.
  • Knowing the difficulty we have with sex and relationships, its understandable to want to throw up our hands and give up on it. I'm right there with you. Yet those are things I still long for. I may be handicapped in those areas, but sometimes handicapped people accomplish the unexpected. Look at Oscar Pistorius. He was born without legs, but he didn't let that stop him from becoming a world-class runner (All right, he murdered his super-model girlfriend, but thats beside the point). I want to strive for the things that normal, healthy people take for granted, win or lose.
  • I think that relationships and sex never go well when regularly mixed with alcohol or other mind altering substances. We especially need to approach these things with a clear head.


So those are my thoughts, for better or worse.

Jude
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#446473 - 09/05/13 07:51 AM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: BraveFalcon]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Ken,

I'll be blunt: in my own personal experience and that of all my close friends who have related such stories to me, when a sex-level ex-girlfriend recontacts you out of the blue and asks to see you again, she IS thinking about having sex with you again - typically of the most casual variety, usually caused either by loneliness or a desire to celebrate some special accomplishment.

So while it would be the friendly, courteous, and probably emotionally empowering choice to go visit her, you should be prepared to say more or less what you spelled out.

It hurt to see you say that even with all your intimacy issues, you do want to cuddle with this girl. It paints a different picture than what you've said in the past. Humans are sensual creatures and need touch to feel normal.

My advice, fwiw: Go see her as she asked. Share the hug and cheek-kiss when you first meet. Do not bring up the topic of intimacy. If she asks you if you're seeing anybody, say that the intimacy issues she remembers are still a force in your life and so the only person you are seeing is a therapist. Up-front acknowledging and owning your truth.

And if she pushes the envelope, ie if she invites you to sleep in her room (a very common ex-girlfriend "thing"), say something like: you've always thought of her fondly and remember the time you've shared, but have to be up-front with her that you are not at a point in your life when you can have a sexual relationship. You can even say "About the only thing I would be ready for now is some hugging. I don't know if that interests you or if you'd want things to be limited that way, but you deserve the truth."


Good luck,

Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#446493 - 09/05/13 10:56 AM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: BraveFalcon]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
God knows I'm not even close to an expert on this, but here goes.

1. Relationships take two to tango. This is obvious. Problems have to be communicated about though, or else there's nowhere else to go. At the end of the day when grievances have been aired and both parties have said their piece, if there's nothing to be done, there's nothing to be done. On the other hand...

2. You can't fix something you don't realize needs to be fixed. If you two can communicate and you are honest about your issues and she is honest about hers, you have an opportunity to try and work it out. Like step one, if it works out, great, if not, it doesn't, but at least you tried.

3. I struggle with intimacy and feeling smothered as well, but I HATE that it makes me feel like I can't have that girl I can just flirt with, fool around with, be sexual with, and emotionally connect to on a deep level. For me, that is a signal that I have an obstacle in my life I need to overcome. I also have no idea how to behave in a relationship. I hope that one day I'm lucky enough to find somebody who understands that and can be supportive of me and try regardless of all that. For now, I'll keep dreaming, but I am not prepared to accept a life of loneliness yet.

4. Sexual cues and intimacy. Well...yeah. I dunno either. I THINK I'm getting better at recognizing those cues, but I still don't always know how to react to them. Sexual intimacy is tough to. I over-think it way too much. "Am I doing this right, is she really into this, am I hurting her physically, will I hurt her emotionally if I don't continue a relationship after this, will I feel guilty, if I feel guilty will I stay around even if I don't want to?" Holy hell! Why is there so much thought going on there?!


So I don't have a clue either, but those are my 10 cents. Either way, I wish you all the best!

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#446526 - 09/05/13 08:02 PM Re: She Reached Out. Relationship/Intimacy Issues, Etc [Re: SoccerStar]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL
Hi guys. Thanks as always for the awesome responses.

Originally Posted By: focusedbody
Ken:
Excuse me for saying so but I'm a believer in embodiment for the sake of accuracy, a.k.a. authenticity. At present there exists a strong possibility that at some point in the next 24 hours, whether I'm with someone or not, I will look and feel somewhat like him also!


Hi FB. Yeah, I actually do feel like that a lot to. Pretty much every day. It's just that in sexual situations the feeling encapsulated by the above animated gif goes into overdrive. There is no way for me to speed up the intensity of Beaker's jitters or to increase the look of distress on his face, so that is what I had to go with. Ether way, I'm sure y'all get the picture.

Originally Posted By: Rich1967

It sounds like you both know each other really well and for her to reach out to you again means she cares. I bet if things go down the road you are afraid of that you will be able to tell her your boundaries and that she will be okay with that.


Hi Rich. Yeah, I think she would ultimately be ok with it too but setting and establishing boundaries with other people is easily my weakest interpersonal trait. It's so hard and so painfully awkward for me. The good news is, I really don't think it will come to that but even the mere possibility puts me ill at ease.

Originally Posted By: Jude

[*]Knowing the difficulty we have with sex and relationships, its understandable to want to throw up our hands and give up on it. I'm right there with you. Yet those are things I still long for. I may be handicapped in those areas, but sometimes handicapped people accomplish the unexpected. Look at Oscar Pistorius. He was born without legs, but he didn't let that stop him from becoming a world-class runner (All right, he murdered his super-model girlfriend, but thats beside the point). I want to strive for the things that normal, healthy people take for granted, win or lose.


Hi Jude. Well, the good news/bad news thing is, I don't long for those things. I don't want them at all. I want to stay 100 miles away from them. Also, even if I did long for them, I would almost feel like it was wrong for me to keep trying them over and over again with the same person, let alone try them with new people. In a way, I'd feel like I was just using them as a sex/relationship guinea pig. "Let's see if it works this time". Knowing with almost 100% certainty that the experiment will fail anyway and that the person I experimented with will be left hurt and angry in my wake. Not to mention that anyone who would be kind and accepting enough to have me naturally deserves better than me and doesn't deserve to be a guinea pig. My ex GF least of all.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
Ken,

I'll be blunt: in my own personal experience and that of all my close friends who have related such stories to me, when a sex-level ex-girlfriend recontacts you out of the blue and asks to see you again, she IS thinking about having sex with you again - typically of the most casual variety, usually caused either by loneliness or a desire to celebrate some special accomplishment.


Hi Matt. Yeah, I can see where that would apply to most people in my situation but then most people didn't have those relationships end specifically because their partner couldn't put up with their acute aversion to sex. Most people in this situation don't have an ex who knows that they have the issues my ex knows I have. So, I think my situation may be a little different, but I'm not going to say you're wrong.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
It hurt to see you say that even with all your intimacy issues, you do want to cuddle with this girl. It paints a different picture than what you've said in the past. Humans are sensual creatures and need touch to feel normal.


Ok, maybe you took what I said the wrong way a little bit. What I said was I "be comfortable" cuddling with her, not that I necessarily "wanted" to. There is a difference. I don't really have any conscious or longing desire to cuddle with her in the same bed, but if she wanted to, I'd be ok with it. Perhaps I've misrepresented how I feel about human touch on this board if I've ever made it sound like I have a problem with innocent platonic affection. For example, the last time I visited my brother I awoke one morning to find my 7 year old nephew cuddled up next to me. That is human touch but it is human touch that is safe, innocent and platonic. I would feel (almost) the same way about an adult woman who wanted to cuddle with me as long as I knew for sure that was all she wanted. Any sign she wanted more than that......



(In overdrive.)

To be honest, the only reason I even brought the bed thing up is that there are only three places for a visitor to my apartment to sleep. My bed, the sofa or the recliner. Obviously I don't feel bad when one of my (few) guy friends crashes on my couch but if it was her, I'd feel bad not letting her share my bed when we have all those times before and when I'm perfectly comfortable with her sleeping over there. It's just that at other times there was sex and, now I don't know what the expectations might be or where the boundaries might be drawn and........ ARRRGGGGGHHHH!!! It's so fucking complicated at that point! eek

Originally Posted By: AndyS87

3. I struggle with intimacy and feeling smothered as well, but I HATE that it makes me feel like I can't have that girl I can just flirt with, fool around with, be sexual with, and emotionally connect to on a deep level. For me, that is a signal that I have an obstacle in my life I need to overcome. I also have no idea how to behave in a relationship. I hope that one day I'm lucky enough to find somebody who understands that and can be supportive of me and try regardless of all that. For now, I'll keep dreaming, but I am not prepared to accept a life of loneliness yet.


Hi Andy. You make a lot of interesting points and observations here. I'll go with this one though. I'd say the biggest obstacle in my life regarding sex/intimacy/relationships is that I absolutely don't want any of it, period. So, maybe that means I don't have an obstacle and that's just the way I am. Accepting a life of loneliness isn't a problem for me because I thrive on loneliness. That life has already been not only accepted but embraced. If my being a single, relationship-avoiding recluse wasn't a problem for other people and if I could somehow push a button and ward off the possibility of a female ever even becoming interested in me, I'd probably never even bring these things up. Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. I am a desperately unhappy person but not because I am alone, believe me.

Thanks again guys. I always appreciate the support and the input. Take care all. Peace,

Ken

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#446724 - 09/09/13 12:15 PM Re: She Reached Out. (Quick Update.) [Re: BraveFalcon]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL
Well, I finally spoke to my ex-gf on Friday and the conversation went well. We spoke for probably an hour and a half. She still lives in the same place and her life hasn't changed much. Can't say that mine really has either.

On Saturday night I met her and a group of her friends at a restaurant in Midtown Atlanta for her birthday. I haven't seen any of them since she stopped speaking to me and it was nice to reconnect with them. It was maybe a little awkward at first, but that went away after a little while and I enjoyed our evening together. I was glad that when we sat down to eat she wanted me to sit next to her. It's nice to feel like I'm still a special person in her life and that she wants to be close to me. Although, in a way, it's one of those things that clearly shows me how fucked up of a person I am. I can want to sit here with this woman who has been a part of my life and feel happy that she and I are close, and that I am special to her, but if I start getting signals from her that feel like romantic and/or sexual energy, well, I'm not going to post the Beaker gif again but you get the idea.

Oh, for her birthday I got her a book called "How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You." She an I have a similar sense of humor and both love cats. I think she really liked the book.

On Sunday I went out to my parents house, which is an hour from me but not far from where she lives. So, she came over to watch the Falcons game with us. I don't even want to think about that fucking game! It ended about as badly as it could have for my guys and afterwards, I sat out on the back porch stewing with my face in my hands. She's never understood why I get so angry and upset over sports, but she always tries to be understanding about it. She came out after the game and rubbed my back and shoulders, trying to cheer me up. It helped a little. I like it when she rubs my back like that. It feels kind, comforting, nurturing, and safe. Intimate but in a safe and mostly platonic way. As an aside, even I don't understand why I get so upset about sports teams playing games that don't have any real bearing on my life. I just do. It's all I have.

So, that's where we are right now. I think things will be ok between us. I think the right boundaries are clear and established although I'm still not 100% sure about that. Next month we are going to a wedding together and she's asked me to be her date there. I'm comfortable with that, because I'm pretty sure she just means a friend date and not a relationship date. I honestly fucking hate weddings but maybe it will be a good time. Usually there is at least a lot of free booze at weddings, so, there's that. Yippie!

Thanks as usual for reading if you have. It's nice to know at least some people out there understand some of this stuff. Take care all. Laters,

Ken


Edited by BraveFalcon (09/09/13 06:21 PM)

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#446834 - 09/10/13 02:04 PM Re: She Reached Out. (Quick Update.) [Re: BraveFalcon]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Hey, Ken. It sounds like a good deal. I think its great to have a special friend who acknowledges the boundaries you have. Nothing is as healing as the human touch from someone who cares about you, and its obvious she does. Let me preface that with "safe" human touch from someone who cares about you. I don't have that, so very good for you.

If you do begin to think something romantic may be evolving, before you bolt I am going to be bold enough to suggest that you just emotionally step back and process what may be taking place. Being truly special in someone's life is something that is hard to find... or at least for me but then again, I haven't been looking. It all sounds good so far for you.

Wish I could empathize with the ballgame, but alas, my friend. It's out of my realm. I can tell you, however, I hate weddings myself.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#446927 - 09/11/13 08:34 PM Re: She Reached Out. (Quick Update.) [Re: ThisMan]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: ThisMan

If you do begin to think something romantic may be evolving, before you bolt I am going to be bold enough to suggest that you just emotionally step back and process what may be taking place. Being truly special in someone's life is something that is hard to find... or at least for me but then again, I haven't been looking. It all sounds good so far for you.


Hi Bill. Thanks man. The funny thing is, this is the kind of thing I've never really looked for either. I suppose in this case you could say it was looking for me, and it found me. Normally when I even begin to think that someone might have feelings for me I run for the hills but, in this case, the person who had those feelings already knew pretty much everything about me and was already a close friend, so there was nowhere to run. I tried the sexual thing with her, it didn't work out, and now she and I are kind of back to square one. I am still pretty much happy about where she and I are now, but there is still a bit of awkward uncomfortableness surrounding the whole thing. Like there are a couple of elephants in the room and perhaps there always will be. Maybe that will go away after a while though. I suppose only time will tell. Take care. Peace,

Ken

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