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General :
How should I respond to formerly wayward boyfriend's grunpiness and lack of Easter plans with me?

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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 11:47 AM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

You are in an emotionally abusive relationship. You are one version of the battered woman who can't imagine leaving her abusive significant other.

You are not in any kind of loving relationship and never have been. Even battered women have had good times with their significant others, and that is part of what keeps them in the abusive relationship.


Get out and get help.

posts: 168   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8730903
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 12:37 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

I can't just abruptly throw away over 20 years with him.

Yes you can. You don't want to, and that's where therapy can really help you adjust your perspective and see what a shallow and damaging relationship this is for you.


I've definitely done the ignoring him thing -- for example, I ghosted him cold turkey for a full week after I caught him from afar making out with a OW in the nightclub parking lot I'd just left minutes earlier, same nightclub we'd been hanging out at together earlier that same evening.

He'd have a stiletto up his a$$ if it had been someone I had been on a DATE with just MINUTES earlier. Why is this not a dealbreaker?

He eventually responded to the ghosting by tracking me down when I was out jogging, chasing after me, and begging me to give him another chance. Each time he's ghosted me in the past, I respond by ghosting him back and assuming we're now broken up. Always he returns and reminds me of how his best times of his life were with me.

You've taught him very well that you will put up with pretty much anything from him and get very little in return. Why WOULDN'T he want to hang onto that? He gives nothing and gets a lot in return. Peachy deal when you can get it. He's a cake-eater, and the only way to deal with a cake-eater is to CLOSE THE BAKERY.

He's the only semblance of my much happier past life I have left. I don't have my parents anymore (both passed from health problems in their elder years around 15yrs ago), I don't have kids, I don't have many friends left these days--due to lack of free time from my job to go out with them, and the only relative I have any real contact with in recent times is my married brother who has his own full-time career and kids, and lives an hour outside the city.

You're convincing yourself that you can't do any better than this. Again, therapy will help you adjust your perspective and see what an abusive and manipulative jerk this guy really is. A good therapist can help you confront a lot of this, build your confidence and start seeing things in a much different light.

Break up with him and go 100% no contact. Do it simply, but firmly: "I don't think this relationship is good for me any longer, and this is goodbye." Only say this after you've blocked him from every avenue of contact. Ignore him when he tries to contact you. If he starts coming to your house or stalking you, call the police and consider a restraining order. He needs to understand that this is business.

Find a very good therapist that can help you confront your FOO and give you a much healthier perspective on your life.

Find a mentor or some help with your career. I work in educational publishing, and I know there are some really good professional development tools out there. Talk to your union about the hostile work environment and get their advice. Stop being passive about your professional development and your career path. Develop better time management tools so that you can free up time to pursue something of interest to you, be it travel, volunteering, a new hobby . . . you need to nurture the person that is you, and only you can do that.

When YOU change, the world around you cannot NOT change.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33046   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8730908
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Carissima ( member #66330) posted at 2:51 PM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

I remember your story as well.

What I remember is thinking that you believe you have a BF and a relationship but I don't think this man has the same belief.

I'm sorry but after reading your post I still feel the same. I don't think this man thinks of you as his GF, his partner. It sounds like FWB on his part and that's giving him the benefit of the doubt!

posts: 947   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2018
id 8731167
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 5:08 PM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Gently, he's not your boyfriend, he's a user and abuser. Without a doubt he's seeing other women. barf

Why would you allow anyone to treat you this way?

I also remember your story. This guy is a real DB and I don't know anyone who would tolerate his abuse. He does not give a flying sh*t about you.

Get out and seek therapy.

posts: 11506   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8731246
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 1:15 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Hi, I am so sorry I couldn't respond earlier. This week has really been the week from heck for me with work deadlines and everything. It really does feel like the work never ends! On top of that, I had a lot of stuff to do for work but missed a big chunk of work time today because my brother insisted I host his financial advisor friend to hear his friend's presentation about different financial products and retirement accounts. I agreed to help my brother out, even though this meant hosting my brother and his friend for hours today at my house. I even made sure they had lunch available so to make my brother's friend feel good as a guest. I did it to help him out but now I'm regretting the time lost. It looks like I'm going to be up very late again on a school night, missing out on a full night of sleep again, trying to play catch-up with lesson plans and everything. But anyway, that's my vent. It never feels like there's enough time in the day anymore, even on weekends, unfortunately.


Now onto the comments and responses I've received. First, thank you for taking the time to respond and to think of me. I will admit it did hurt reading a lot of these comments. Some of them really drove points home, but not in a happy way. I guess I deserved to hear at least some of it. As for why I've stayed so long with him, yes it's been a little over 20 years now but I really do have decades of memories with him, even despite all the bad. I don't consider him my boyfriend, not right now at least, but he is the only person I can honestly be completely myself around. I literally have nobody else I feel I can show my true self to, only him. Also, he's helped me out with things before, like helping me with lesson plans or grading papers when I'm in a huge crunch. What other guy would be willing to do that for me, especially a guy who doesn't know me and will probably see my overconsuming job as a burden to any dating relationship? Moreover, what guy would want to date me when I have next to zero free time available these days? Sigh. I guess one of you is right when you say I have a sunken cost fallacy. I definitely wish to not have my relationship just end after all I've invested into it, as that would be unfair and such a waste.


In terms of that day that I caught him in the parking lot kissing someone else, that was 16 years ago this summer to be precise. I definitely did not want to start something or confront him because that's just not in my nature to do that. Besides, I didn't want to look like "that crazy jealous chick". I figured it'd be better if I just move on and stop contacting him altogether, which is what I did. I stopped calling him, texting him, and suggesting we hang out. I decided that if he could find some other woman, then I could in essence dump him by ignoring him completely while moving on to a new man. The reason I didn't date any new men was because it just didn't work out that way for me. I did in fact go back to that same night club later that same week on a night that R usually didn't go, and while I hoped to find a new man, I didn't have any luck with any of them. Then the next day was when he chased after me while I was on the running trails in the park. He apologized and begged me to give him another chance and I did not just forgive him that easily. I mostly ignored him and kept jogging. Then later that night I went back to the same night club, this time having the good fortune of dancing with a new man, when R arrived and cut in to dance with me. When I danced with another guy later that night, R did the same thing. He kept cutting into any song in which I danced with other men, then begged and insisted I talk to him. Everyone saw what was happening and agreed that I should at least talk to him. That's when he begged me to give him another chance, telling me that he had made a mistake, he only meant to give her a ride home because she was clearly drunk and he didn't want her to drunk drive, and that he really regretted what happened because he couldn't lose me. He told me the best times of his life were spent with me. That was when I decided to give him another chance, but I never fully trusted him after that. I was never fully committed in heart after that. I also continued to keep my eyes open for other new men that might be interested in me in the meantime. Nothing ever came of it, and eventually over time R and I became closer than ever, so I eventually scrapped any idea of staying openminded toward meeting other guys since it wasn't happening for me anyway. I know that probably sounds bad in hindsight and if you tell me I'm bad for having thought that way, I guess you are right.

posts: 127   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8731748
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:32 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

You are making excuses.

One of my daughters is a teacher. I know how much work it is. And she is FULLY involved. She also coaches,and attends all of their games and plays,because most of these kids don't have parents who will.

She still finds time for herself,her boyfriend (who also helps her), and her family.

So what if this guy said most of his best times were with you?? He was lying to get what he wanted,and it worked.

What you need to do is tell him he is no longer welcome in your life. Then you need to set time aside every weekend, for self care, and put yourself out there, to meet someone. Go on dating sites. Join some meet up groups in your town. Stop telling yourself it's ok if he gives you crumbs.

You've devoted 20 years to a man who isn't devoted to you. What's worse than that? Devoting one more day.

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8731753
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 2:04 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I don't consider him my boyfriend, not right now at least, but he is the only person I can honestly be completely myself around. I literally have nobody else I feel I can show my true self to, only him.

Reading this breaks my heart. TJG, go find some FRIENDS!!! You owe yourself so much better than this.

It seems you focus too much on what others think of you. What do YOU think of you? If your friend told you these stories, what would you say to her?

Boundaries are really good ways to get your life in check. You're super busy right now. Your brother wants you to host a presentation. "Sorry brother, I can't fit that in my schedule right now, maybe another time." People who truly care about you will understand.

Just to clarify as well, you are not a "crazy jealous chick" for being upset that someone you were just on a date with was kissing someone else afterwards. He is a "crazy asshole dude". Calling someone on their bad behaviour does not make you crazy.

Of course you don't want your "relationship" such as it is, to end. It's familiar. It's a known quantity, and even if you wish it were different, it's giving you some comfort, right? But investing MORE energy into something that's giving you little return is what is the waste, not what you've done in the past. If you were playing a slot machine that gave you erratic returns, occasionally hit a small jackpot, but most of the time you were steadily getting less back than you put in, would you keep feeding your money into it?? It sounds to me like this is exactly what you are doing.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 4 years) & DBF (dating 3 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 812   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
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somanyyears ( member #26970) posted at 3:08 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

..first...I was a teacher for 37 years, now retired...and I find it very hard to believe any 'principal' would tolerate a staff member hanging out for hours 'after school' listening to him berating another staff member! Principals are also very busy people and it also goes against their professional standards of conduct.

Report this 'Mr.Perch' to your union if you have a case of harassment against him. Question: Could Mr. Perch be screwing this principal and that's why he's hanging around the office after school? It wouldn't be the first time I've heard about this going on, on a staff!!!

.. second... this 'boyfriend' of yours really sucks! If he really cared for you at all, he would not be treating you the way he does. He's only using you ..for sex I assume. There are better men out there than this guy, I'm betting.

If you've been at this job for 20+ years, you should have the work load well under control. What about getting a teacher assistant to help with the paperwork???

As for the growing student misbehaviour and disrespect... that is something your teaching style should have established from the very beginning. Lay down the law on the first day of classes. Zero tolerance for any disrespect. Call in the parents and inform them of their child's behaviour. Don't be a pushover and don't be TOO nice!

As for the crappy boy friend... I say dump the asshole... and get a cat.

I suggest you have it out with Mr. Perch... I certainly wouldn't stand for the badmouthing from him as a professional. 20+ years in the job should have taught you something about establishing your position on staff... unless this is just not the right job for you.

TEACHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN... NOT HELL ON EARTH..

Good luck

smy smile

[This message edited by somanyyears at 3:16 AM, Monday, April 25th]

trust no other human- love only your pets. Reconciled I think!Me 74 Her 70 Married 49 yrs. 18 yr LTA with bff/lawyer. Little fucker died at 57.Brain tumor!

posts: 6010   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Ontario Canada
id 8731765
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 3:12 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I definitely wish to not have my relationship just end after all I've invested into it, as that would be unfair and such a waste.

^This is the bottomline^ Despite all the abuse and manipulation, you are just not ready.

And you know what...many of us stayed way to long in situations. Hand raised. Many of us say, without a doubt, we wish we would have left sooner. Hand raised.

But this is on your timeline, your life. We can only offer you our own recommendations from years of BTDT and you have to decide what to do on your own path.

My ex was a tremendous help with TONs of things. But there came a point that I would rather have to cut my own grass with a pair of kitchen sheers than to have him ever help me with anything again. The price that came from that relationship was not worth what I had to sacrifice.

Ok, so you are not ready to cut off this relationship. But please-please-please (again) get into some IC for yourself. You need someone to walk through all these things with you to help you make sure your future is as happy and healthy as you deserve. You are not able to do that on your own. You would benefit so much by having a skilled professional show you some tools to deal with work, home, family and your BF. Please, at least do that for yourself.

posts: 6731   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8731852
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 8:21 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Ouch. The last few comments hurt but I think I needed to hear them. You are right, he doesn't deserve all my niceness. I have a friend who I used to work with before she got transferred, and she says a lot of the stuff that's been posted here but she's a bit more blunt with how she says it. She keeps referring to R as a certain common male name for a man's private part, and telling me I should meet new men. I feel awkward doing that, honestly. I admit I have low self esteem from everything R and especially my thankless job has done to me in the last number of years. I don't feel ready to get out there and meet men yet, honestly. I feel too shy and afraid of rejection.

R has still been calling and wanting to see me. In fact, he stopped by unannounced last night, right when I was planning to get out and get groceries. Because he parked behind me in my driveway again, I wasn't able to get to the store in time. I don't want to be rude but it does annoy me when he does this. Things like that have me realizing more than ever how much I value my freedom and independence, and how I'm actually kind of relieved I didn't marry him or have him move in with me, although I am still a bit sad my parents never got to see me wall down the wedding aisle. I also still feel sad I missed out on having kids, although at the same time, the desire for kids has decreased a lot once I reached menopause. For now R is still there but I admit I'm talking to him gradually less and less.

posts: 127   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8731913
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Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 10:01 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I'm going to be honest here. I'll start by raising my hand along with EvenKeel and many of us that have stayed in one way relationships entirely too long. We are living proof that you can end the endless cycle. But what I see with you is that you have no desire to do anything in an effort to find happiness. Not anywhere.

When ever anyone states the obvious, you say you don't have the self esteem or confidence, or the time because of your job, to find another man. What does that have to do with leaving a situation that is making you miserable? Why is finding another man a requirement for leaving the old one? Having been in this sisterhood of stupidity, I learned a few things. I'm not saying you're stupid or that I am, but I did a lot of stupid things for more years than I like to talk about. What I learned most of all was that how I was being treated was not his fault. It was mine. l taught him how to take advantage of me. The fact of the matter is, he never sold me Prince Charming. I took little snippets of decency and ran with the ball, because that's what I wanted to see.

I've followed your posts over the years. You continually bring up a handful of things you saw as kindnesses over a 20 year period. There should be more than that number of examples in a week, not 20 years. But you rewrite them over and over as affirmation that he must be the person you have in your head. He graded papers and chased you once while you were jogging. I don't know for certain, but my guess is he chased you because after plan A caught on to who he really was, you were plan B and he didn't have a plan C.

You do the same with your job. I hold teachers in high esteem. It's a tough job. I know a lot of teachers, and they have actual lives, with husbands and kids and everything. So I have to wonder if you staying in a job you say is abusive, and gives you no time for a life, is really just a vehicle to not make any changes. You can blame your bad relationship on your job. And then you can blame refusing to leave that relationship on your job because you have no time or energy or self esteem to find another man. And because you can't find a man you have to stay in your job that you hate. And you never have to change a thing.

Some people get comfortable being miserable. It works for them. If that's the case with you, good for you. That's your right. But I think it has a lot less to do with him than you think. No amount of posts here are going to motivate you to change anything. You've gotten pages of encouragement, suggestions, 2X4s and empathy on this site and you don't heed any of it.

I wish you well. I really do. I got the joke around 6 years in myself. It took another 10 years and restraining orders to get him to stop chasing me, and I don't even jog. Leaving was the very best thing that ever happened to me. I'm sorry you're missing out.

posts: 1582   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8731934
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 11:03 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

There were a few posts I accidentally skipped over but am just seeing now, and their questions. I will try to answer those questions later tonight if I can. Right now things are busy and so stressful. On top of having such a bad day at work and tons of deadlines this week, and another parent complaint on me, now my brother just phoned me to ream me out and call me rude because of how, according to him, I disrespected his friend by not buying enough financial products from him yesterday when he gave me his product presentation at my home. I bought an annuity but my brother seems to think I was being too cheap. I feel like I cannot do anything right or please anyone enough. (Puts head in hands)

posts: 127   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8731953
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 11:38 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I feel like I cannot do anything right or please anyone enough. (Puts head in hands)

What are you doing to please YOU??

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 4 years) & DBF (dating 3 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 812   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8731962
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Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 11:40 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

my brother insisted I host his financial advisor friend

now my brother just phoned me to ream me out and call me rude because of how, according to him, I disrespected his friend by not buying enough financial products from him yesterday when he gave me his product presentation at my home

How are YOU responsible for hosting HIS friends? This is not your responsibility. Just because he insists does not mean you are required to do what he wants, especially if it will have a negative impact on your life. He belittles you and disrespects you. Do you see that by continuing to give in to his demands, you are reinforcing his behavior towards you? In addition, he does not get to ream you out after you have done him a favor. You bought what you could and you were under no obligation to do so. Period. It seems like your brother is used to controlling you through abusive behavior. This is unacceptable. This is not a safe dynamic for you. Please know that it is ok to detach from family members. As I said in my previous post, I have had to do this to protect my own well-being. I hope that you will consider this.

Gently, allowing others to dominate and control you and accepting unacceptable treatment is not safe or healthy for you. It is really important for you to learn how to set healthy boundaries. They are vitally important to your self-esteem, self-respect and peace of mind. It is ok to say "no". In fact, it is necessary to be able to say "no" in order to protect yourself.

I must reiterate that you would benefit from counseling to help you learn how to stand up for yourself. I am concerned about you.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 699   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8731964
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:09 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

TJG, My heart goes out to you.

The one set of people you don't please are us. We tell you your xBF is no type of friend to you, and you should get him out of your life. You keep coming back asking what you should do about him, so yohaven't taken our advice.

You should have 3 days to cancel the annuity contract, and you probably should, since most annuities are bad deals for the owner and great deals for the seller.

There are a lot of people in your life who take advantage of you. I understand it's hard to say 'no' to people who are pushing you to do what they want, but we tell you to learn to say 'no', and you haven't.

Have you talked with your union rep?

I understand you think you don't do anything right, and we don't help, because we keep pushing your to act in a way you are afraid to act. So we , too, seem to be telling you that you don't do anything right.

Here's the thing. We're telling you how to help yourself. The people you see day-to-day seem to be telling you how to help them.

Listen to us.

Get some faith that you can have a better life. Get some faith that you can make a better life for yourself.

Please get some help in real life ... find a good therapist who will teach you how to help yourself.

You deserve to lead a good life, and you can - but you ave to take action that is out of your comfort zone.

And cancel the annuity contract. It's probably a contract that pays you a lot less than you can get.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27082   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8732085
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 7:11 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

We're telling you how to help yourself. The people you see day-to-day seem to be telling you how to help them.


^^^^^^^^^^ THIS!!!

Please, I know it can sound a bit harsh, but it's true, you're allowing the people closest to you in your life manipulate and bully you. You don't deserve this.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 648   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8732096
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 5:30 AM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

You are a good person who deserves more than you have in life, and you are capable of making a much better life for yourself. Please keep that in mind as you read the following strong suggestions:

1. Cancel the annuity contract asap while you still have the chance. It's a rip-off and you don't owe that man or your brother anything. Anything!

2. Get into therapy, now!!! You have no self-esteem and no-backbone. I couldn't believe it that you felt guilty that your brother is mad that you didn't buy enough crap from his friend, especially after you lost sleep for a whole night due to hosting him. Seriously? I actually wondered if you were a troll making these posts up, it's that shocking that you act like such a doormat. I'm thinking perhaps your whole family of origin is users and abusers, and that is why you ended up this way. Something caused it. Self-esteem is a necessity for life. Your lack of self-esteem is what is causing your problems at work and in your personal life. Fixing that is the most pressing thing to do right now. Your life will only improve after you get therapy, and stay in therapy (consistent, long-term therapy, not only a few sessions). You're not crazy or anything, but you have no self-esteem or boundaries and a therapist, any therapist, will at least help you with that.

3. Go no contact with the user who you like to think of as your boyfriend, but who is not, never has been, and never will be your boyfriend.

Again, I want to emphasize that you are a good, worthy person. You do have the power to change your life, but you're going to need to get help to do so.

[This message edited by morningglory at 6:09 AM, Wednesday, April 27th]

posts: 168   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8732216
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 teacherjoggergal (original poster member #70442) posted at 10:06 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

I think he got mad because he thought I could afford much more than the annuity I purchased. He kept bringing up how I have no kids and how my only home is one that is a small rancher which I inherited in part.

I do not feel comfortable with counseling but I should probably consider it. You are probably right. Two other friends have also told me to get counseling to stand up for myself. I was always raised to believe therapy is only for "quacks". I always thought I did a good job managing my stress and problems myself. Maybe it is getting too big for me to do just that.

posts: 127   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2019
id 8732361
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marriageredux959 ( member #69375) posted at 11:33 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

I don't believe that 'formerly wayward boyfriends/girlfriends' should even exist.
I barely believe in 'formerly wayward spouses' and that's solely because the betrayed has enough skin in the game that it may be worth one more roll of the dice.
Notice that I say 'may be worth' with formerly wayward spouses.
It so far appears that I am one of the fortunate ones whose spouse cheated once and never again. I found out the reality of the situation years after the fact and it appears that there were no repeats.
Ergo I am, to date, still here.
Had there been a single repeat in the interim, I'd be long gone, even if the further infidelities happened in the interim between the initial infidelity, and when I found out years later.
If there's a repeat now or in the future, I'll be gone like yesterday.

I can deal with a one off and the realization on the part of the wayward that this is not the person the wayward wants to be, especially if there are children in the mix and jointly owned infrastructure and assets on the line.
Once is bad judgment.
Once is 'a mistake.'
Once is 'gotta touch that hot burner for myself to find out why I shouldn't touch that hot burner.'
Once is 'trying this on for size.'
Twice is 'I liked it and went back for more.'
Twice is behavior.
Twice is 'who I am.'
That does not portend well, IMHO.

Sounds like you don't feel that you have 'concrete enough' proof that your 'formerly wayward boyfriend' is cheating to prod you into action.
I can tell you this:
I would have absolutely *no* tolerance for repeated 'motorcycle rides,' even if that's all it was, as if.

I grew up with guys that ride.
Ask any guy that rides if there is a sexual element to 'giving a woman a ride' on his bike.

From the opposite side of the equation,
I wouldn't, as a married woman, do that, and my riding friends wouldn't offer, and my husband wouldn't tolerate it.

Your 'formerly wayward boyfriend' can, IMHO, bugger off, and the sooner the better, before any further damage occurs.

As far as your employment situation, I empathize and I sympathize.
You've been in this place of employment for 24 years.
Your current situation sounds downright toxic.
Has management changed in your 24 year tenure? Sure sounds like it.
It sounds like a bully culture.
IMHO, you are being bullied at work, and management is allowing it, if not condoning it.

I am no expert and obviously I'm not living your life- but based on my experience, neither your romantic situation as it is nor your work situation as it is will get better, much less get better on its own.
It surely won't get better if you just continue to sit in it.

We stay in difficult situations when our best efforts and our persistence and our patience can, will, and do affect a positive change.
In those situations, we can get some traction and we can turn the situation around.
I don't see any indication of that traction, nor the possibility of that traction, in either the romantic situation nor in the work situation you describe.

Do not be the tethered bird who depends on the rotting and failing branch.
Be the bird who is free and competent and independent.
Have faith and confidence in your own wings, not in a shaky and rotting branch.

You have X number of days of your wild and precious life.
You wanna waste those days on losers?

I was once a June bride.
I am now a June phoenix.
The phoenix is more powerful.
The Bride is Dead.
Long Live The Phoenix.

posts: 535   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2019
id 8732374
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 12:55 AM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I always thought I did a good job managing my stress and problems myself.

You are very unhappy with your job. You are very unhappy with your personal relationships. You are easily pushed around and overwhelmed. What exactly are you handling well yourself?

I was always raised to believe therapy is only for "quacks".

You're a caring teacher. If you had a student who came to you, saying she was depressed and cutting herself, would you tell her, "The best thing to do is deal with it yourself, because if you go to a therapist that means you're a quack. I know because my parents told me so"? No, you'd report the situation so that she could get professional help.

You are the grown-up equivalent of the teen who is cutting herself. You are being abused by multiple people in your life and can't even conceive of how to stand up to them. You are greatly stressed out by situations that most people would take in stride. For example, a brother who thinks he has the right to tell you to spend your money on his friends should not be apologized to. He should be ignored or told off- that's a no-brainer.

Get help. You need professional help. You're not crazy or a "quack". You're a good person who needs and deserves help. Your parents damaged you somehow, even though I know nothing about them. They didn't bring you up to value yourself and take care of yourself, and they've made you afraid to even get help to improve the situation. So their word is not what you need to cling to at this point.

We're all saying this because you're a valuable person and we care. Get therapy or your life will keep being sad and hard.

[This message edited by morningglory at 1:04 AM, Thursday, April 28th]

posts: 168   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8732386
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