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Relationship Thread: Advice, Venting and Everything Else

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Nobody here will pile up on you. I agree with everything Bastet said. This guy is abusive and you deserve better.  He was abusing you, plain and simple and I'm glad he's out of your life.  I know it's hard but try not to succumb to his apologies and promises to change if they come because he won't.  

I was both physically and emotionally abused in my marriage and in my experience, the emotional abuse was worse. The broken fingers, toes and jaw have long since healed but I can still hear those words.   Get out and stay out, you don't deserve this. 

Vent all you want to here, we I'll never pile on and we'll never judge. 

Edited by Maharincess
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Wow, AgentRXS, that's a lot of crap in a short time period. Bad enough to have the car issues (those are so stressful), but on top your (ex) boyfriend is acting like an ass. There's no excuse for someone to call you a whore - EVER. This isn't an isolated incident but a pattern of jealous, jerky behavior based on wildly inappropriate conclusions of your absolutely normal and unavoidable interactions with member of the opposite sex. Who is he to say who you can talk to and how you can talk to them? He may not like it but that doesn't mean he is right. Try thinking of it this way: if a good friend was describing the same situation to you, how would you react? Remember that at a minimum you deserve to be treated with respect, especially by someone with whom you have an intimate relationship. He's not doing that, and you deserve better.

I hope that's not too blunt, and that you understand it comes from a place of caring. I had a relationship when I was younger that I look back on with a lot of regret because I didn't stand up for myself and put up with a lot of behavior that I should have called out as unacceptable.

Edited by MargeGunderson
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6 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

Thank you for the not piling on. And thanks for clarifying that it is abuse. I felt for him because he said his last 2 girlfriends cheated on him so I gave him a lot of leeway. But every time I placate him, something else sets him off and I'm left wondering what the hell I did and if I'm crazy to think he's being irrational. Apologizing (even though I don't think I have anything to apologize for) never works and just pisses him off more.  You are right, even though it hurts like hell now, I have to realize I will be better off in the long run by him not speaking to me.

First of all, congratulations on not getting in touch with him.  Even if weren't cyclical, breaking the habit of togetherness is difficult in the best of circumstances.    Secondly, it's hard to see what we're in while we're in it so don't punish yourself for however long you were together, the important part is arriving at this point.   Finally, the bolded sentence has no place in a healthy and loving relationship doll.  That's not a criticism, I'm hoping your own words help you realize that this man wanting out is a good thing.  I have an ex like this.  He was low key simmery so it took me a while to name what was happening because (as I would say to myself many times) I gave as good as I got and what he said wasn't true and it wasn't like I was coming out of our arguments with bruises (somehow that was the threshold of my definition of abuse).  He ended it and for a while I was stuck on:  now ain't that some shit, the crazy one wants to get away from me. Yup, because that's how crazy works.   He's not just jealous, he's unstable.   That instability has nothing to do with you or any other relationship he's ever been in.   It isn't your job to calibrate your behavior in order to manage his insecurities.   The kind of interaction you've described is not sustainable long term.  Not for a normal person.     I get that couples reciprocate and alternate putting each other first but your car was being 3 different kinds of annoying, while you were prioritizing his needs and all he could think to do was call you a whore for accepting help from another man.   Whatever good stuff you got out of this relationship has been trumped by who he is at his core.  Better we know it now, that's how we learn.   When he gets his reconciliation speech and/or tactics together, please remind him that this was his choice - and it was the right one.  Stay strong lovie you can do it!

p.s. eBay has a motor division, I've saved $500 on parts this year alone, see if they have your rim on there. 

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He ended it and for a while I was stuck on:  now ain't that some shit, the crazy one wants to get away from me. Yup, because that's how crazy works

This is exactly where I'm at. I'm glad to know someone else went through something similar. Sitting here the next day trying to process it all and its just like-wow. He told me to delete his number and never contact him again. So I did what he said. I feel like I'm silently screaming. The lack of caring about my well-being, the fact that he can blow up my phone to tell me what I should/shouldn't have done, and he just gets to say his piece and be done. I'm so frustrated because even if I had the opportunity to scream, yell, tell him what an idiot/bastard/etc he is, it would fall on deaf ears because he wouldn't hear anything I have to say. I am just sorry I tried apologizing to placate him in the first place.

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9 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

So I now need a rim, tire, battery, plus get the body work done and I'm out of a boyfriend. I thought after a year he would be getting better with this. I'm at a loss and feel on edge with all the shit going on.

You kept driving on a flat tire, and ruined the rim. Please learn to recognize when your behavior is self-destructive—and stop.

You deserve a happy and healthy relationship with someone who makes your life better—not worse.

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1 hour ago, AgentRXS said:

This is exactly where I'm at. I'm glad to know someone else went through something similar. Sitting here the next day trying to process it all and its just like-wow. He told me to delete his number and never contact him again. So I did what he said. I feel like I'm silently screaming. The lack of caring about my well-being, the fact that he can blow up my phone to tell me what I should/shouldn't have done, and he just gets to say his piece and be done. I'm so frustrated because even if I had the opportunity to scream, yell, tell him what an idiot/bastard/etc he is, it would fall on deaf ears because he wouldn't hear anything I have to say. I am just sorry I tried apologizing to placate him in the first place.

You need to hold onto this feeling right here.  It's gonna pull you through.   Don't just delete the number, block it.  It's bad enough he has access to you at work, your time is your own.  Ain't no way you should be subjected to listening to lunatic-y voicemails on top of everything else.

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2 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

This is exactly where I'm at. I'm glad to know someone else went through something similar. Sitting here the next day trying to process it all and its just like-wow. He told me to delete his number and never contact him again. So I did what he said. I feel like I'm silently screaming. The lack of caring about my well-being, the fact that he can blow up my phone to tell me what I should/shouldn't have done, and he just gets to say his piece and be done. I'm so frustrated because even if I had the opportunity to scream, yell, tell him what an idiot/bastard/etc he is, it would fall on deaf ears because he wouldn't hear anything I have to say. I am just sorry I tried apologizing to placate him in the first place.

As Zaldamo said, hang on to the anger for a while; it can help get you through 'cause ending a relationship is hard, no matter the reasons. And I agree that it is so beyond annoying that there's a ton you want to say to him but you know he's not going to hear it. Maybe try writing it down? It can be helpful to get it all out even if you are the only one who will see it.

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2 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

I feel like I'm silently screaming.

Indeed. 

Rather than just saying more of what every other very supportive person here has already said, I'll chime in with something a little different. The screaming on the inside needs an outlet. If you have any sort of physical activity you regularly or occasionally do, now would be a good time to go do it.  Gym, running, whatever. It'll help. 

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6 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

Maybe try writing it down? It can be helpful to get it all out even if you are the only one who will see it.

I agree that this is a good idea.  It doesn't matter if you keep writing down the same ideas or feelings.  I've found it's very helpful just to see your own feelings written down in black and white and in fact it might be best to just do it for yourself, so you can kind of see your own emotional trajectory.  Plus, you certainly can use places like this one to vent and to communicate.

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18 minutes ago, stewedsquash said:

Even though you are calling this man your ex, please seek out a women's violence support group. I think you need some reinforcement, human to human. You need some coping skills, what to look for, what to do, how to be safe. You could even talk to your doctor, a nurse, your human resource person at work. Reach out and don't let this guy get back into your circle again. I would also somehow figure out how to report it at work, and get it kept confidential. 

This a million times.  He is controlling the situation and I guarantee he is going to contact you at work or at home.  You need the coping skills to not get back with him, don't tell yourself you'll just be his friend, you just want to be nice and get along.....DON'T do it.  He is an abuser, plain and simple.  Listen to these people on this board who have been there.  He is classic, textbook, manipulative abuser.  You reached out here for advice.....you are not happy and want your life to be better.  Take this advice!  You are stronger, smarter than you may think.  You are worth it. 

Remember

NONE of this is your fault.  It is not your fault.  It is not your fault.  Tell yourself this over and over.

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I have to echo Stewedsquash's advice about telling you HR person about this. Even if you don't think the relationship hasn't made an impact on your work life (and I would suggest that it already has, give the inappropriate comments he's made about your interactions with your coworker), you want to be prepared on the chance that he brings it more directly into the workplace (saying terrible things about you to your coworkers, for example). As others have said, he has been abusive, you are in an incredibly difficult spot of working with your abuser. A support group, therapist, hotline should be able to help you if your not sure how to approach you HR office. I'm sure it will be unbelievably hard but it's something you need to do. A resource that you might find helpful is http://www.askamanager.org/2012/02/dealing-with-domestic-abuse-in-the-workplace.html 

Ditto to Raven's reminder that it's not your fault. Only he is responsible for his words and actions. 

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20 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

I felt for him because he said his last 2 girlfriends cheated on him

By the bye anyone who talks a lot of shit about all their exes - I don't like talking in absolutes, but this is ALWAYS ALWAYS a huge red flag. They're not just expressing anger toward the ex, they're expressing shame and fear about themselves.  Like RuPaul says, if you don't love yourself, how in the HELL  you gonna love somebody else?

Edited by ratgirlagogo
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Thank you all. I really appreciate the words of advice/support/harsh truths. Its helping me cope with all this. Plan on contacting the local women's shelter this week to see if I can get assistance. I had started to see a therapist about this, but she  was an older white woman (I'm white also), and was basically somewhat racist and more than once made hints that this is what I got for dating outside of my race. Actually told me that he was a stereotypical "black man who can't control his anger". I was disgusted and stopped seeing her immediately.

Today he walked past me and cursed at me. I ignored him and kept walking. While Trainee was doing paperwork in the front office, I was sitting in the bench near where we park our trucks and waited. Ex walked out to parking lot and stared at me from afar, mouthing curse words when no one was looking. More than one person commented and thought it was strange because, like most abusers, hes Mr. Nice and Calm to everyone except me.  Made my supervisor aware and documented it.

Scared to go to HR but hopefully the support group will help me build up the courage to do it. I am just afraid he will really unravel if he feels his job is in jeopardy.

Edited by AgentRXS
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AgentRXS, I'm sorry that your ex is continuing with the verbal abuse.  It's great that you started to see a therapist, but the one you talked to wouldn't work for most reasonable people in this day and age.  Try to get a referral to another therapist.  The relationship between client and therapist is extremely personal, so it can take several attempts to find the right therapist for you.

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I had started to see a therapist about this, but she  was an older white woman (I'm white also), and was basically somewhat racist and more than once made hints that this is what I got for dating outside of my race. Actually told me that he was a stereotypical "black man who can't control his anger". I was disgusted and stopped seeing her immediately.

Oh, hell.  This is the potential pitfall with therapy.  It can be of tremendous value, but therapists - despite all their training - still carry with them the same biases that infect us all.  Some don't recognize it and overcome it.  It's a big problem where even female therapists have internalized much of the sexist bullshit that pervades society, and thus counsel their female clients from that viewpoint.  Huge.  Add in racial prejudice when one of the people you're most focused on talking about is a black man ... you're not going to get good advice from this person.

Not that someone trained in the psychology of domestic violence can't have racial prejudices that affect her/his abilities, but please do indeed start with a DV hotline for referral to someone whose expertise is in counseling victims of domestic abuse and keep going until you find someone who's a good match for you.

Do not be scared to go to HR.  I am not about to bullshit you and assure you your particular HR department is properly trained in how to handle intra-office DV; sadly, they may wind up being a total clusterfuck.  But get out in front of all this.  Document.  Call meetings.  Leave a trail.

Nor am I going to bullshit you that there are no potential ramifications from any of this.  He will lash out.  The horrifying fact is abused women are in the most danger when they attempt to break away.  This is no joke, and you've gotta do what you've gotta do.  The system may not work for you.  First and foremost protect yourself.  Etc.  But PLEASE do indeed reach out to a DV hotline to help you navigate all your potential decisions as this unfolds. 

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On 7/13/2016 at 0:11 AM, AgentRXS said:

  He also has a mean jealous streak.
 

This in and of itself, without the additional crap he has pulled in the last couple of days, should be enough to warrant ending the relationship. Too many guys with mean jealous streaks start adding physical abuse to the emotional abuse of making their significant others afraid to interact with male friends, colleagues, etc. I will echo what Bastet and others have said: Go to your HR and make them aware that you had a consensual relationship with another employee and that things have ended badly. Document anything he does at work that is inappropriate. Go to a therapist (who is not a racist) and get some support. Life is too damn short to be involved with someone who treats you like this, and you deserve a relationship that makes you and the other person feel good. My own goal in relationships is to make the other person feel better about himself/herself. Your ex, OTOH, seems hellbent on making you feel worse about yourself, and it sounds as if he has engaged in that behavior with previous girlfriends and will undoubtedly continue it with future girlfriends. Don't blame yourself for his pathology.

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22 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

 Go to a therapist (who is not a racist) and get some support ...  Don't blame yourself for his pathology.

I agree with the entire statement, and wanted to point out that some good support will be a key contributor towards not blaming yourself @AgentRXS. I'm a good four weeks in to my own thing that has a pretty damn large component of me not blaming myself for the other person's very serious issues. It is WAY too easy to just see the places we think we could have done differently and dwell on them. Some sound advice from a professional goes a long way.  

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Following up on my own deal I mentioned above, it was said to me that maybe I like the idea of being the white knight, the person who gets to be there to sort of save the day. 

I think that wasn't exactly true, but I have noticed that wounded hearts seem to find me, and I find them. 

So yesterday I saw Ghostbusters and one again I found myself unreasonably attracted to a Kristen Wiig character. I loved (loved) her in Bridesmaids as another example. 

So I started thinking, I wonder if she suffers from depression or some other tortured past. Google turns up this on the Darkness of Kristen Wiig. 

D'oh.  I've got issues. 

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I know where I go wrong in relationships: For some reason, I am attracted to insecure men. In the beginning, they are very open with their insecurities and come to me for reassurance and it gives me an ego boost. Since, I am insecure myself, that ego boost helps me feel more confident when they are relying on me for comfort. However, as time goes on, those insecurities sometimes manifest into jealousy and their is no "talking them down from the ledge". They are convinced they see something that isn't there, because they feel them alone wouldn't be "enough" for me.  My ex before this last one broke up with me because he felt that he would never be able to provide for me like he wanted to and he wanted me to find someone he thought would be "better" for me.

God, I wish I didn't have such poor taste in men.

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A good therapist (one who's good, period, and a good match for you specifically) can help you break your own patterns, and I can't stress enough how important it is - since you have been with at least one abusive partner, and because that's the most-recent relationship - for you to find someone who specializes in domestic abuse.  Not all therapists are trained equally, and there is such a special set of factors going on with domestic abusers, it would be beyond horrible for a therapist not properly educated to recognize and discuss those things to essentially (or outright!) blame you for someone else's malfunctions.

I have long been involved in DV policy work, and spent several years running the legal clinic of a DV shelter (before I had to step away from direct representation to avoid wanting to jump off a cliff).  The therapists I communicate with as part of that work all speak of clients who've had previous therapists frame their abuse exclusively in terms of what the client should have done differently. 

My advice remains to call a local DV hotline and tell them you've recently gotten out of a relationship with an abuser, and ask for a list of local therapists who specialize in this area.  Then find someone with whom you're comfortable (and who's not a racist!) to help you work through the issues raised by this relationship, and by other relationships.

You're off to a great start.  You're staying strong about this asshole, you're not in denial about what was going on with him, you're recognizing your own patterns aside from him -- you are so well-equipped to shed those nagging "I must have done something to cause this" thoughts about this guy's abusive behavior, to further explore why you're vulnerable to bad relationships in general and how to avoid that, to learn tools to help you further the internal work you're obviously already doing.  I'm so confident in you.  We just all need a little help sometimes, and I really think you'll benefit.

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Ugh. So my ex came up to me while I was taking out the garbage and demanded that I pay him back for our last date, which was Dave and Busters. That was last Saturday. It was his decision to take me out that day, and it was his decision to pay for the meal. Now he's saying I "used" him and the next day took off of "with my new friend" which was the Trainee. I said I wasn't going to pay because I felt I didn't owe him anything, and I didn't do anything wrong. He said "You aren't going to use me and get away with it" and took off.

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AgentRXS, did this happen when you were at home rather than at work? If the guy is showing up at your home and making menacing statements, you need to take steps to make him stay away. Call a DV hotline and see if they can assist or at least refer you to someone who can. If this was at work, again, document the interaction and let HR know exactly what he said. He needs to respect your boundaries.

A good therapist can help you identify why you are attracted to the wrong kind of person and how to keep from repeating the same patterns. One of the reasons that I am no longer in a full-time romantic relationship is that at least with male partners, I have an incredible gift. You can put me in a room with 100 men, and if there is one guy in there who seems on the surface to have his shit together but underneath is incredibly fucked up, that will be the guy who interests me. After some time in therapy, I realized I was looking for guys to "fix" and either after they got past their problems I would get bored with them, or if they didn't get past their own issues, I would eventually get tired of their problems. I had enough therapy to understand why I have this pattern and to recognize the signs, but I have found myself much happier with only very occasional part-time and/or long distance relationships that are not exclusive. I do much better at being attracted to female partners who are not seriously messed up, but I have learned that I neither want nor need a 24/7 romantic relationship with anybody, male or female. I wish I had gone through therapy before two marriages and subsequent divorces, but at least now I recognize the danger signs.

Therapy is not easy but if done with a good therapist, it will help you understand and recognize dangerous or unwanted patterns in your behavior/relationships so that you can modify those things if you want to.

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Really well stated BookWoman56. I see a lot of value in seeing a professional for both the immediate scary stuff with the still present ex boyfriend and the longer term discussion about what kind of people to get involved with. 

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AgentRXS, did this happen when you were at home rather than at work?

I was at home...not long after I wrote my first post of the evening. Went to do some light housework, stepped outside to take the garbage out and there he was. On what universe did he think that he was going to get any money out of me after calling me user and a whore? The mind boggles. I texted him that the next time I see him on my property or outside my home, I'm calling the cops for harassment. Told him that I have not  taken further action already for the sake of his son, not his. Hes blocked so I have no clue what his response was like.

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AgentRXS, please don't think about his son's sake.  I know you are trying to be nice, but his son is his responsibility, not yours.  You need to worry about YOU and him showing up announced and pretty much threatening "you won't use me", is a huge warning flag. 

I really think you should call the police as well as a DV hotline, give them the history and tell them he has shown up announced.   He has a pattern of ugly behavior (cursing you at work, etc); he is blaming you (like he did with his past relationships) and I am concerned he will further escalate.

Reaching out here is great and it was great you tried a therapist - you just need a therapist who will work for you - but you need to take steps to protect yourself.  Nothing in his life - not his son, not his job, nothing - is your responsibility or concern. Believe me, I know how difficult it can be to tell yourself that; I'm not judging you, just trying to impress on you how important it is you realize that.  You deserve a job, a home, a life where you're not harassed, threatened, cursed at.   It is early, you can get all those things, but please protect yourself.

Edited by raven
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6 hours ago, stewedsquash said:

Is there an enabler's anonymous? I feel like I am enabling you when I tell you that Kristen Wiig is going to be on Watch What Happens Live on Tuesday, Bravo Channel. 

Hee!  It's just her characters; Kristen Wiig being herself is just an ordinary funny and attractive woman. You know, the kind of thing I should go for.  It's when she's those two things but also has a shitload of loneliness and pain in her eyes like in Bridesmaids when I get all lovestruck. 

I'm definitely bringing this one up the next time I see my doctor. This should be a fun discussion. Hopefully she doesn't try to medicate me. 

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Ugh. So my ex came up to me while I was taking out the garbage and demanded that I pay him back for our last date, which was Dave and Busters. That was last Saturday. It was his decision to take me out that day, and it was his decision to pay for the meal. Now he's saying I "used" him and the next day took off of "with my new friend" which was the Trainee. I said I wasn't going to pay because I felt I didn't owe him anything, and I didn't do anything wrong. He said "You aren't going to use me and get away with it" and took off.

Okay, I don't want to be the harbinger of doom or a broken record, but you REALLY need to hook up with a DV agency for local resources and suggestions.  Now.  Do not just assume this guy is all talk.  I hope he is!  He may be; some of them are.  But women wind up dead.  It's not rare.  At all.  He has made a threat.  Treat it as such - don't wait until next time.

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So update on the Driver situation: 
First, I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who responded. Especially those of you with personal experiences with domestic abuse/violence. I'd also like to apologize if it pushed any buttons, and thank you especially for finding the courage to respond. It helped me be active, when I was indecisive, and it *did* make a difference. I really appreciate that. 

For my part, I've been quietly going bonkers because there was literally nothing to report, which wasn't exactly a relief. I've spent about a month now vacillating between concern for my friend and, frankly, frustration. The deal was Mrs. Driver would get in touch at least once a day, and *of course* that didn't happen. There were long stretches where she was completely MIA, and we sat here wondering what to do. (Ultimately, given her restrictions: bugger-all.) Then she was going to return to town a couple of weeks ago. No sign of her. And so on...

She finally showed up briefly last week, and left town again the same day to go take care of her mom. (She's physically ok, but a complete bundle of nerves.) She'll go from there back to her in-laws', and eventually get back here, at which point she has said she *might* be willing to find a counselor, but *maybe* she'd rather do that at her mom's... 

So I think she's back pedaling here, and I don't know if she'll actually seek any help at all. Obviously that has me worried.

(At a later point, I'm going to have to figure out how to be a good friend there, or what that even means, because I'm not at all sure how to be supportive in this situation. But it's definitely not pressing, because it'll be a while before she's back. And I really think I need to be better able to define the situation before anyone can help me with this.)

Ultimately, I can't help but feel if I had been able to keep in touch with her, and if she had returned as originally planned, that the chances would have been a lot better that she would have sought help.

 

So with that in mind, I contacted @AgentRXS, because I felt a need to at least try to do *something* useful. And like many of you, I, too, begged her to call a DV hotline.

Folks, *she already had.* She took your advice and gave it a shot.

Unfortunately her experience with them seems to have been about as useful as some of mine. (I had phoned around for Mrs. Driver, and while I generally got a lot of sympathetic noises, I only found *one* instance where people were likely to offer *concrete* help. That particular service is of no help here, because wrong continent.) 

If anyone can do better than "call someone," that might help, but consider: if *I* was feeling frustrated and exhausted as someone only tangentially involved in Mrs. Driver's problem, how taxing must conversations like that be for people actually in her and AgentRXS's shoes? So please go easy on her. 

Unlike my friend, she is taking this seriously and trying to solve things. For the person actually involved, that can't be all that easy to do. And it does take time. Things don't get sorted over night. (If you're not willing or unable to leave your life behind and go to a shelter *now*, or unable to have someone arrested (on what charges in either of their cases?), then you pretty much have to accept that things will take time and be "iffy" for a while.)

I was genuinely pleased to see somebody actually recognize a threat, listen to advice, and take steps to insure her personal safety, even if those steps aren't necessarily as far or as successful as we might hope.

Also, I want to go on record on the HR issue -> we've got a person taking this seriously, but who didn't seem to respond enthusiastically to the HR suggestions. I know in an ideal world, *of course* the thing to do is report the situation. But I've yet to meet anyone who actually lives in an ideal world. 

She spoke to her supervisor, which I think is brilliant. But if she isn't sure about HR, I think she should probably listen to her instincts. No one else knows her situation better than she does, and none of us knows the first thing about the power dynamics at her firm. The (unfortunate) reality is, not all HR departments are up to the task. One of the hardest things after an experience like hers is learning to trust yourself again. If a person is hesitant, there may be good reason for it. (But by all means, RXS, do seek professional help, because if it's just a question of not feeling secure, they can build you up until you can do what needs doing. And in the meantime, document like mad.) But you certainly shouldn't do something you feel might worsen your situation just because it's the done thing or looks good on paper. First and foremost, it needs to be of help to you.

I think if you see someone behaving more like AgentRXS (and far less like Mrs. Driver), in addition to the moral  support and advice you can give, it's also important to acknowledge their judgment *isn't* worthless and help them regain some confidence. Because that's another casualty of abuse, and *we* shouldn't compound the damage.

And don't underestimate the importance of moral support. It's sometimes far more helpful than trying to solve a person's problems, which ultimately is down to them. (Which is slightly rich coming from me, but no less true. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.)

 

TL,DR: Mrs. Driver's alive (if not well). But after being MIA, she's waffling on seeking support.

AgentRXS contacted a DV hotline, but no real joy. But she's on it, so let's go easy on her, eh?

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I continue to wish you the best, AgentRXS, and I'm sorry to hear your local resources haven't panned out yet; that is a shame.  I really hope you're able to get in touch with someone/someplace who can better advise you of the options and process in your jurisdiction. 

Without knowing where you are, it's hard to offer anything more, unfortunately, as resources vary so much.  If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, let me know (privately, of course - and be assured I'll make no subsequent mention of it here) and I'll try to get you in the hands of people who can help.

There is a national hotline, which may or may not be of any use, because local is better: http://www.thehotline.org/

Edited by Bastet
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Hey guys. I appreciate everyone's comments and I have been doing the best I can trying to juggle this situation and handle the car situation in a course of a week. Its a little overwhelming but I'm taking it day by day.

He called me and threatened me again so I called the local police. They are patrolling my area and keeping watch for him. Not going to work tomorrow because I'm looking for a car but will figure out how handling a restraining order will factor into working at the same place. 

I called DV hotline and they just said 'Sorry you are going through that" & "No one deserves that". Our HR dept is dysfunctional so they would love to hear this more as form of juicy gossip then to enforce taking action.

Police can't do much unless he tries to show up here. I will be seeking help once I get this car situation settled. Ive been so busy this week I haven't even been home to do menial chores, much less schedule time to talk to someone. Not dragging my feet, just this all happened in a course of a week and I haven't even had to time to really process anything.

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I am pulling for you, @AgentRXS, as is everyone else here. What the DV hotline told you is bullshit, in my opinion. They need to talk to you about options to ensure your safety and should have offered help. I found this site: http://fcadv.org/. If this is the state hotline you called, I'd get in touch with the local DV center nearest you and don't stop asking for a supervisor until you get assistance.

Also, found this, regarding protection orders and the workplace: http://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/news/protectionorders_workplace. Since your HR doesn't appear to know how to handle it, you and your DV advocate need to educate them about their legal responsibilities. I was once threatened by a co-worker who has mental health/substance abuse issues and my employer's solution was that *I* could take vacation or sick leave if I wanted to, as they had no intention of sending her home. I filed an incident report, as well as a police report (just in case it escalated), but no action was ever taken against her (for that; she later walked off the job as a result of being investigated for fraud; by that time, though, she was treating me like I was her best friend). Anyway, the moral, from my experience: make sure your employer does the legal and right things because they'll try to take the path of least resistance, which is not to do anything.

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I need to vent this somewhere. So here goes. I had a brief physical relationship with a married coworker. The guy is definitely a player, but he is very subtle about it. Anyway, I started hanging out with him outside of work. And then one night something happened and before I knew it he was in my apartment and being very aggressive. It was like he was a completely different person from the nice, charismatic guy that I knew. The whole thing was very stupid of me, and my only excuse is that I was going through an extremely difficult time and was also lonely. I think this guy knew that. I was dumb enough to let him in my apartment several times, and the last time he pretty much forced me to perform oral sex on him. Nothing has happened since then although he has been trying to talk me into something again. I finally had to tell him not to ask me ever again. I think there must be something wrong with me because I have never been so attracted to someone, and at the same time, I know he's a very bad person. At any rate, I've been doing pretty well keeping my distance. Scary, weird situation. 

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32 minutes ago, jenh526 said:

he pretty much forced me to perform oral sex on him

That is rape. 

It is, of course, up to you what you want to do about it. But what you are describing is rape.  Please talk to a therapist.

And avoid this guy, he's no good.

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9 hours ago, backformore said:

That is rape. 

It is, of course, up to you what you want to do about it. But what you are describing is rape.  Please talk to a therapist.

And avoid this guy, he's no good.

Thank you. I've been thinking that too, but he has my thinking pretty messed up. The more I stay away, the more clearly I can see what happened. This all happened while my mother was dying (which he knew about). She died about a week after this incident. So, double trauma. I have seen a therapist but I think all of this was so traumatic that I have kind of disassociated, and I'm not really feeling too much about any of it, because it is all too painful. I am having some flashbacks about my mother. I think I just need to slowly process it, and try to reclaim my life, and make better decisions for myself.

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Jenh526, the guy sounds like a sexual predator who is used to pressuring women to have sex and just badgering them about it until they do it, willingly or unwillingly. That type of person is frequently adept at picking up on signs of emotional distress from someone and exploiting the weakness. For you, while the feelings of dissociation may seem odd, that is often your mind's way of giving you some space to come to terms with emotional trauma, in your case, that of losing your mother and being sexually assaulted. Please continue seeing a therapist to try to figure out if this was a one-time bad decision or if you have been making some bad decisions on a regular basis for whatever reasons.

I personally have no use for monogamy and virtually every sexual/romantic relationship I've been in for the past 25 years or so has been an open relationship. During that time, yes, I have had sex with married people, but my general rule is that I will not have sex with a married person unless I have met his/her spouse and know for a fact that the spouse has no issues with it. That said, I have little respect for someone who has entered into a monogamous relationship and then violates the terms of that commitment. If you don't want to be monogamous, then have the decency to tell your partner that you don't rather than sneaking around and having sexual escapades behind the partner's back.

One thing I've noticed is that as I've gotten older, I am much less likely to tolerate excessive drama in a relationship. I have a very long-distance mildly romantic/sexual relationship going on right now with a guy, and while at times I wish he were closer geographically, to make the logistics of getting together easier, I am frequently relieved not to have to deal with some other aspects of his life. Within the last couple of years, I also began and then terminated a relationship with a woman because of excessive drama. When we met, she was in the process of separating from her husband. Long story short, she had been pregnant 5 years or so earlier and gone through most of the pregnancy, then had to deal with fetal death roughly 3 weeks prior to her due date. Obviously, very traumatic and it took a few years before she felt ready to try again. When she did, there was a year of attempting to get pregnant with no good results, and then she discovered by accident that her husband had had a vasectomy a couple of years previously, without telling her. That particular breach of faith destroyed the marriage, and she was in the middle of starting the divorce paperwork when we became involved. But, she was so obsessed with getting pregnant that she completely lost perspective. At one point, she was considering hooking up with a random stranger just for the purpose of getting pregnant, and this was prior to the divorce paperwork being finalized. I pointed out to her the legal complications that would ensue (in this state, it would mean her soon-to-be ex would be regarded as the legal father of the kid), and she threw a hissy fit claiming I was trying to talk her out of having a baby. Which, no, just trying to point out that it might be better to think through the possible unintended consequences of her proposed action. She finally calmed down and decided to wait until after the divorce was final to begin looking for someone to father a child with her, but I extricated myself from the relationship over the next couple of months because I just saw ongoing drama that I really did not want to be around. I tried to be supportive but there just came a point where I felt she needed a therapist much more than she needed a romantic relationship. At times I wonder if in these two most recent relationships if the drama is just a function of both of them, the long-distance guy and this woman, being significantly younger than I am. They both are 30-31, and happened to be at a point in their lives when major changes were occurring, while for me, most of the insane drama in my life is long past. 

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Just to clarify something - yes, there was a lot of badgering. But when I said "forced" I mean, he grabbed my head, said "come on, blow job" and pushed my head down (I had refused several times before so he knew I didn't want to do it). He then took my hand away, stood up over me, and thrust himself in. I suppose I could've resisted more, but at that point I was scared - he's way bigger and stronger than me. Agree that he is a sexual predator. Everyone at works loves him - he is that charming. Only I know what he truly is.

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Guys like this are very practiced at badgering and then if the person is still not cooperating, doing exactly what he did and forcing it. He's assuming that you are not going to report this incident to the cops or to HR, because of various reasons. Obviously, doing so would be an ordeal and it's something you have to make up your own mind about.

And yes, sexual predators can be quite charming in public and with other people. I had the misfortune to become entangled with one while I was in grad school, and he is the reason I decided not to pursue my doctorate after getting my master's degree. He was a professor that many students liked; he was great in the classroom. But he was BFFs with my thesis director/mentor, and so he was appointed to be on my thesis committee. So I found myself after almost two years of classes for my master's and being roughly halfway through writing my thesis, being told by this guy that I would have to perform oral sex on him if I wanted him to sign off on my thesis. Unfortunately, I was sufficiently young and stupid enough to panic and think I had no choice but to comply with his demand. Fast forward a couple of months, to when I was having serious writer's block because of the situation, my thesis director was giving me grief about lack of progress on the thesis, and I finally told the other professor that I would no longer give him blow jobs. He hit me, and I did what I should have done initially and escalated the situation. My thesis director did not believe me, which was a major blow to me, but the director of graduate studies did and more or less forced a confession out of the professor. I agreed not to file a formal complaint; this was after spending a couple of weeks thinking that nobody was going to believe me and that I was about to be thrown out of the program. I was lucky in that other professors in the department were willing to work with me on my thesis; I have heard too many stories from students in similar situations who were unable to finish their degrees because nobody else would direct their thesis or dissertation. But after finishing my master's, it was close to a year before I could think about going back to graduate school without vomiting, and I just let that particular ambition die. Eventually the professor did go on to assault yet another grad student, who filed charges, and during the trial it came out that there was a long history of episodes like mine; he seemed to have been somewhat escalating over the years to the point that with her, there was no attempt to coerce her into sex; he just physically assaulted her in her home. To this day, I still have regrets about not filing the formal complaint when I had the opportunity. It was pointed out to me that it would be a he said/she said situation, and the odds were not in my favor. Even my thesis director initially bought this prof's spin on it, which was that yes, he had hit me, but it was the result of consensual B&D that got out of hand. It was not until my thesis director found his own wife in bed with this prof, that he realized maybe this guy was not the victim of false accusation as he claimed. But even knowing that I would almost certainly not have been successful with a formal complaint or charges, I can't help thinking sometimes that if I had pursued that option, maybe the next woman would not have been subjected to the sexual assault that she endured. 

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BookWoman56, I am so sorry that happened to you. My heart sank while I read it and I was nearly in tears. I have a feeling the guy who attacked me in my apartment (because that's what it felt like, an attack) has done this before. And he will probably do it again. I've seen him on his phone texting, he's spending long hours at the gym, and the women flock around him. But I know he chooses very carefully. He groomed me slowly for several months before anything happened. And then it was a full-on surprise attack. I hope the guy who did this to you is rotting in prison.

BTW, I'm grateful for the opportunity to write this stuff here and for your responses - it's helping me to clarify things in my mind. Speaking with therapists doesn't really help me because I'm way more adept at writing my feelings than I am at voicing them.

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Jenh526, the guy who did that to me is dead. No, I did not kill him nor did his next victim; he was forced into early retirement by the university and relocated with his family to another state, where he eventually died of natural causes. The victim who filed suit was savvy enough about the judicial system to know that she had a much better shot with a civil rather than criminal case and so she went after him and the university. Prior to the start of the trial, the university did their own internal investigation and told the prof to take early retirement or be fired, and at the conclusion of the trial, the jury ruled in her favor. I only found out about his death a couple of years ago, and it has given me mixed feelings: sadness that someone so gifted in the classroom destroyed his career; satisfaction that he will never again do that to someone else; sympathy for his family for having to move essentially to the middle of nowhere to escape the local notoriety he had gotten; and anger all over again that it is so difficult to get justice for this sort of thing.

If it's easier for you to write about your feelings, go ahead and do what works for you. When I was going through therapy, I first wrote a summary of what had happened to me, gave that to the therapist, and then continued to write down my feelings/thoughts regularly as part of the therapy. I was fortunate enough to have a therapist who understood that writing this stuff down helped me through the process, and so each visit he would read what I had written prior to us actually talking about things. Eventually I reached a point where I could just go in cold and start talking, but the written format really helped me in those first few sessions.

Everything you have said about this guy leads me to believe that you are correct in thinking that he has done this before. The scenario you described does not in any way sound like this incident was a one-time aberration. My advice would be to resist any impulse to blame yourself for what happened, but at the same time learn to recognize when someone is manipulating you into a situation you don't want to be in.

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@BookWoman 56 and jenh526, thank you for sharing.  Words aren't sufficient to convey the fury that I'm feeling at what was forced upon you by these two criminals.

I'm sending you thoughts of support and strength across the universe.  

But damn it, I'm so angry on your behalf.  I just keep coming back to anger when that doesn't really help you in any way.  Please just know that I am in your corner and thinking thoughts of healing for you.

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Treehugger, thanks for the support. In my case, what happened is fairly ancient history and so it no longer occupies my thoughts front and center the way it did while it was going on. This was long ago enough that universities and workplaces were not yet taking charges of sexual harassment as seriously as they do now. What's important to me is that I used the anger I felt from the situation to motivate me to finish my thesis, with a different director, and get my master's degree. Finishing the degree under those circumstances made me feel that I could get past the negative feelings I had and go on with my life, which is what has happened. Yes, there have been some other bumps in the road, but that happens to everybody.

One thing that continues to amaze me, in a bad way, is when someone does go public with accusations of sexual harassment or assault, and the reaction from other people is to blame the victim for "ruining" the life of the person who is being accused. Yes, occasionally someone will make false charges, but that really is the exception than the rule; for the record, I have nothing but contempt for someone who knowingly makes a false accusation. However, the actual person who commits the harassment or assault is responsible for ruining his/her own life, and often has already caused serious damage to the victim. Equally reprehensible is the argument that if there are people who interacted with the accused person and did not have the same experience, then obviously the accused person didn't harass/assault the person making the claim. That was one of the things I found most frustrating about the recent coverage of the Roger Ailes situation at Fox News; so many people claiming that well, there were various women who worked with him who said they weren't harassed, so obviously anyone accusing him of this behavior was making it up and it was all sour grapes. Newsflash:  Someone who does this sort of bullshit doesn't do it to every single person he/she encounters. Obviously, I have no personal knowledge of that situation, but I found it entirely believable that there had been other incidents that had been swept under the rug, until finally this one accusation went public. I am cynical enough to believe, though, that the ouster occurred less because of moral outrage on the part of the owners and more because they were looking for a reason to get rid of him, and this situation provided justification for letting him go.

Back more or less on topic, I will say that if you find yourself frequently getting into bad relationships or being manipulated by other people into doing things you don't want to do, it can be useful to put relationships on hold for a while until you can figure out, either by yourself or with the help of a therapist, what's going on that makes you attract, or be attracted to, unsuitable people. I firmly believe you can't be truly happy or satisfied in a relationship unless you are first happy and satisfied, more or less, with yourself as an individual, but I also believe that there are people out there who sense when a person is vulnerable to manipulation and do not hesitate to exploit that vulnerability. 

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2 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

That was one of the things I found most frustrating about the recent coverage of the Roger Ailes situation at Fox News; so many people claiming that well, there were various women who worked with him who said they weren't harassed, so obviously anyone accusing him of this behavior was making it up and it was all sour grapes. Newsflash:  Someone who does this sort of bullshit doesn't do it to every single person he/she encounters.

People who defended Bill Cosby said the same thing - there were women who worked with him who said he always treated them with respect.   I read an essay that explained it like this - That's the equivalent of a murderer using as a defense, all the people in his life he HASN'T murdered.  Or a bank robber, claiming innocence because there was another bank, closer to his home, that he had NOT robbed. 

Anyway - A story which might lighten the mood a bit:  When I was in graduate school, there was a professor who used to stare at my breasts when he taught.  One day in a study group another student brought up the issue, saying he made her really uncomfortable.   It wasn't blatant enough to complain about, but every female student felt the same way - when he lectured, he was leering at the female student's breasts, in a subtle, but creepy way.  So, we got together, and the next day, every female student brought a pile of books to class, and put the books in front of them to block his view.   When he moved around the classroom, we would shift the piles of books, ever so slightly, to make sure his view was blocked - but also to make sure he KNEW exactly what we were doing.  The teacher was red-faced as he continued the class, because, without saying a word, we were able to call him on his bullshit.

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On 8/6/2016 at 1:21 PM, BookWoman56 said:

I personally have no use for monogamy and virtually every sexual/romantic relationship I've been in for the past 25 years or so has been an open relationship. During that time, yes, I have had sex with married people, but my general rule is that I will not have sex with a married person unless I have met his/her spouse and know for a fact that the spouse has no issues with it. That said, I have little respect for someone who has entered into a monogamous relationship and then violates the terms of that commitment. If you don't want to be monogamous, then have the decency to tell your partner that you don't rather than sneaking around and having sexual escapades behind the partner's back.

Like you I am bisexual and have lived my whole life this way.  I feel particularly strongly about it because bi people have a bad reputation for selfish inconsiderate behavior.  Imagine my surprise when one of my exes who became an ex about 18 years ago when he entered into a monogamous relationship now asks to meet me on the sly because, basically, "his wife doesn't understand him."  Obviously I said no but Jesus! Up to this point he was one of my favorite exes but it's going to be hard to forgive this.

Edited by ratgirlagogo
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Ratgirlagogo, I have encountered that behavior a few times, with someone asking me to fool around on the sly because spouse/SO doesn't "understand" him/her. So I have to share an insight I gained when I used to talk to a lot of other people who had open relationships. Quite a few of them said that since they had made the decision to have an open relationship, their spouse was not nearly as interested in having sex with other people as previously. A few said that their spouse had complained that with the open relationship, having another partner wasn't as fun any more because it was no longer forbidden. Moral of this story: there are people who truly do not want a monogamous relationship, and then there are people who want the trappings of one but are way more attracted to the idea of "cheating" or doing something forbidden than to the idea of not being restricted to one sexual partner.

I understand that most people regard monogamy as the norm, but I am just not wired that way and it has nothing to do with being bisexual.  In the same way that I would not enter into a platonic friendship with someone who insisted that he/she be my only friend, I will not enter into a romantic/sexual relationship with someone who insists that he/she be my only sexual partner. I've probably given this comparison before, but to me, when you have been with the same person for a while, no matter how hot that person is, sooner or later sex is going to seem like vanilla ice cream: it's nice, it's sweet, you can dress it up with caramel sauce or sprinkles, but underneath it is still a pretty bland dessert. And there are times when something a little more decadent, like red velvet cake, is what you want, and then you can return to the vanilla ice cream with a better appreciation of the contrast. The fact that I am attracted sexually to person B does not in any way mean that I don't care about person A; it just means there is not any one person who can fulfill all my sexual needs/desires. And I sure as hell don't want to feel responsible for fulfilling all of anyone else's, either. Fortunately, I have been able to find partners who had similar sensibilities. I do agree that it is super annoying when someone assumes that just because you are bi, then you are automatically willing to engage in sex with other partners or that just because you prefer open relationships, you are willing to engage in clandestine sex with someone in a monogamous relationship.

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9 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

way more attracted to the idea of "cheating" or doing something forbidden

I have been known to think cynically at times that this is one of the reasons people get married - so they can have the thrill of cheating.  I don't REALLY think this of course but I'd add that many people have a hard time with the idea of physical pleasure of any kind being okay - it's gotta be a SIN.  Heaven equals boring and Hell equals thrilling, all that kind of thinking/feeling.  Foods and especially desserts that actually taste good are SINFUL DECADENT etc. etc. etc.  Sheesh.

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backformore, I actually am too. I haven't even had sex for many years. This guy knew that too. He zeroed in on all my weaknesses, and I know he would probably never date me if he was single (I'm 10 years older than he is, and at one point he was pointing out all my physical flaws). Still, if someone hasn't had a drink of water for a long time, and then one is offered - hard to turn down even if you know it's poisonous. 

Kind of interesting about the taboo stuff being talked about. I've been playing a "what if?" game with myself - what if his wife knew and was ok with it? I don't think I'd have been nearly as interested, and I don't think he would've been either. Sad, huh?

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16 minutes ago, jenh526 said:

Still, if someone hasn't had a drink of water for a long time, and then one is offered - hard to turn down even if you know it's poisonous. 

When our actions are dictated by what our heart wants, by our emotions, we usually end up with stories to tell.  

They're not all bad stories, but there sure are plenty of terrible ones. Be kind to yourself here. Our brains don't always get final say. Life isn't neat and logical. It's full of feelings and emotions, and they are messy.

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On 7/13/2016 at 9:29 PM, ratgirlagogo said:

By the bye anyone who talks a lot of shit about all their exes - I don't like talking in absolutes, but this is ALWAYS ALWAYS a huge red flag. They're not just expressing anger toward the ex, they're expressing shame and fear about themselves.  Like RuPaul says, if you don't love yourself, how in the HELL  you gonna love somebody else?

Talking shit about all of their exes is definitely a huge red flag for me, for additional reasons. If every single ex has been that horrible, then one of two things is going on: The person with consistently bad exes is attracted only to horrible people, in which case I would be asking myself why this person is interested in me; or the person is engaging either deliberately or unconsciously in some serious revisionist history. My general interpretation is that it's the person refusing to take any responsibility himself/herself for the relationship not working out and instead blaming the ex entirely.  So if Person A tells me that his/her last five exes have all been terrible people who treated him/her badly and had no redeeming characteristics, I will not get involved with Person A because if I do, I will no doubt eventually become the next ex who was evil incarnate, because that's how Person A regards every ex. And of course, nothing that went wrong in any of these relationships was Person A's fault.

I will cut someone slack who has just gotten out of a relationship, when there's a tendency to have a skewed perception (the ex was the most wonderful person ever and you can't get past him or her leaving you, or the ex was the slime of the earth). But over time, that perception should normalize to a realistic view of the ex, who is generally going to have had some good points and some faults. I also recognize that there are relationships in which the majority of the fault is with one person rather than the other. But anyone who claims that every single relationship has crashed and burned only because of what the other person did may succeed in deluding himself/herself, but not in deluding me.

On the issue of not being involved with anyone for a while, I have gone for very long periods without being in a relationship but sometimes out of nowhere, I meet someone and we have that immediate connection/rapport that is very hard to find, at least for me. I am old enough  now to treasure that experience when it occurs and enjoy it while it lasts, while recognizing that I can be quite happy and content without it.

Edited by BookWoman56
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