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-   -   Sex, self-esteem and new partners (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27052)

kittycat 08-22-2012 07:56 PM

Sex, self-esteem and new partners
 
I love my boyfriend deeply, but this is really starting to get to me - enough that I'm posting about it here!

Basically, besides a one-night fling, he hasn't had any new partners since me (three years ago.) He has 3 serious, long-term, loving relationships, but he is convinced that he's ugly and unattractive and that his sexuality is completely broken, because it's all about the newness with him.

I've just started getting to know somebody new, the first person I've been interested in since getting out of a 6-year no good very bad extremely abusive relationship 18 months or so ago. My partner is severaly depressed because he thinks that EVERYONE ELSE can get new partners all the time, and he just has to watch from the sidelines and feel left out.

It's affecting me because he's being very aggressive with me, even without necessarily meaning to, and he's lost all interest in sex. I'm hurt, confused, and starting to get kind of angry and frustrated too (much as I don't like myself for it.) Firstly all this makes me feel undervalued and worthless, like the fact that I love him and find him very attractive don't matter because I'm not the New Shiny any more. Secondly, it kind of pisses me off that someone with three stable, long term (18, 4 and 3 years respectively) relationships can keep insisting "no-one is interested!!" Thirdly, we're both aiming to be in this relationship for the long haul, and I'm worried in a more long-term sense that every time there's a period of more than a few months (this has been a bit of a thing for well over two years) where he doesn't hook up with anyone new, he will spiral into this deep depression. Basically, I don't think this NEED for a constant supply of new partners, one after the other, is healthy, either for him or for our relationship.

I... help, please, guys? I'm really stuck at this point.

x.Kitty.x

snowmelt 08-22-2012 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kittycat (Post 149860)
It's affecting me because he's being very aggressive with me, even without necessarily meaning to,
x.Kitty.x

What is he doing that is aggressive? Is he willing to look at himself and figure out why he needs shiny and new all the time? If he is not willing to address his issue, then the only option you have is to assume he is going to stay exactly the way he is. Then, you have to decide for yourself what you need to do for yourself to make your life better.

nycindie 08-22-2012 08:17 PM

Well, you cannot change him or fix him or make him feel better about himself. What you can do is express your frustration, tell him what you will or will not tolerate, and let him know that if he doesn't get hold of himself and work on his issues, you are not going to sit around and take his abuse nor listen to him whine. Encourage him to find a solution and let him know you will be supportive, but you can't do it for him.

kittycat 08-22-2012 08:19 PM

Just verbal aggression, nothing physical or anything like that! He gets very upset and essentially yells at me, tells me I don't understand (the phrase "it's alright for you, you can fuck whoever you want" has been used at least once.)

I don't know why. I think it's partly a self-esteem/ego thing, partly hanging out in communities where (it is perceived that) everyone is shagging everyone else, and partly what he's been used to over so many years of being poly and having lots of new people all the time. Bit of a system shock, so to speak. From stories he tells me, it seems that these issues go right back to when he was a teenager.

snowmelt 08-22-2012 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kittycat (Post 149865)
the phrase "it's alright for you, you can fuck whoever you want" has been used at least once.

You say he only sees value in new people. It could be an addiction to sex, or an addiction to getting new attention. You can't change him or make him change. Whatever it is, either he needs to address it now, or you need to get out of this relationship. These are the only healthy options I see.

nycindie 08-22-2012 08:37 PM

Ugh. He sounds very childish. I would venture to guess that the people he thinks of as "poly" were just really fucking around and he thinks that in order to "be poly" he needs a new lay whenever possible. Geez, he needs to grow up and get real!

GalaGirl 08-22-2012 10:48 PM

Quote:

Just verbal aggression, nothing physical or anything like that! He gets very upset and essentially yells at me, tells me I don't understand (the phrase "it's alright for you, you can fuck whoever you want" has been used at least once.)
Only YOU know the severity but I want to say this to you. Do not minimize verbal/emotional abuse just because it is not a punch in the face that leaves a bruise. Just because he's not as bad as your 6 years aggressive abusive one? Doesn't mean this too is not abusive and unhealthy. Abusers suck! :mad:

You are VERY CLEAR in your second to last paragraph as to how much this is hurting you. I am very sorry you hurt. :(

If you have articulated this to him? And he keeps on hurting you? You have a hard decision to make there. Stay for more of this treatment or walk away. Which is the least stinky choice?

Quote:

this has been a bit of a thing for well over two years. Basically, I don't think this NEED for a constant supply of new partners, one after the other, is healthy, either for him or for our relationship.
You are correct. That NEED of his is not healthy. You do not mention how healthy is HE for YOU?

"Commitment" does not mean "doormat."

I'm not hearing from your post that he is showing commitment to HIMSELF to improve and better himself. Has he seen a doc for depression? A counselor for depression management? Self esteem issues? Jealousy issues? Negative self thinking? Sex problems? Andropause hormone shift? Actually doing something constructive to help himself or just destructive pissing about and parking inappropriate at your door?

I'm not hearing from your post how he shows commitment to his PARTNERS. The current long term relationships. He expect others to fix his inner world problems of self esteem and all that? He expects others to fix his problem of getting laid by new shiny all the time? He says ugly like "It's alright for you. You can fuck whoever you want?" That hurts you in your emotional health bucket, mental health bucket, and spiritual health bucket. (see your second to last paragraph.)

He may not be punching you to hurt your physical health bucket. But he's still going below the belt. I frown on this type of behavior to loved ones going on for 2 years! :mad:

Anyone can have a bad day. We all spill our bag and lose marbles sometimes. The thing to do is to apologize to our loved ones, collect the spill, make amends, and try not to do that again. But I'm not hearing apology being made, amends being made, effort to change for the good.

I just hear that verbal abuse gets hurled out and you having to be living with UGH. Is it like lather, rinse, repeat? Same old song different day?

I'd think about breaking up and walking away. You can fix your UGH. You cannot fix him.

Because TWO OUT OF THREE YEARS of nonsense like that is too much when he does not sound like he puts any effort to make things right within HIMSELF or within his ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIPS at all.

Just my 2 cents. But this is your life to run, not mine.

GG

Becca 08-22-2012 10:50 PM

Verbal aggression is actually a hard limit for me. After having lived in an abusive situation, I will not tolerate someone yelling at me and thinking that it's okay.

It's okay for you to decide that this is a limit for you, too.

lovefromgirl 08-23-2012 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kittycat (Post 149865)
From stories he tells me, it seems that these issues go right back to when he was a teenager.

Has he got health insurance? If yes, can he get his ass into therapy already? I understand having issues from way back. I've had to deal with them or get professional help. It's not easy, but it's better than taking out his frustration on his partner. Who is YOU. And you matter, too.

The biggest changes I made from my gawky teenage years into my va-va-voom adulthood had a lot to do with what was between my ears. A whole lot of the dating game is about attitude. Believe you're pathetic and you'll probably come off as pathetic. Believe you're worth it and others might, too. (Okay, so the new glasses helped, and I did figure out how to dress myself well. I still didn't drive the boys wild until I learned how to inhabit my looks and love ME first.)

polyq4 08-23-2012 10:55 AM

Personaly i think he is addicted to a drug. Its called NRE...remember our bodies on meeting someone new kicks in a whole cocktail of natural drugs.


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