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Question:  I split from my ex five months ago.  It was not a good relationship although I tried to make it good for 3 1/2 years.  The reason we split was because of his sex addiction.  He actually wanted me to go away for a couple of months so he could indulge his BDSM lifestyle - and then come back home.  He never understood why I did not enjoy this type of sex (he liked domination, torture and pain -- for me, not him) and thought it unfair that I would deny him this indulgence and if I would not play along he should be able to go outside of our relationship.  Call me crazy but I think a monogamous relationship does not allow for extras.  Our therapist suggested treatment for sex addiction but he never thought anything was wrong.  He still does not understand why I had a problem with his request and has told family and friends horrible things about me.  His parents will not even speak to me and I was very close to them.

I have a stalking order against him (another long story) and I have had no contact with him since the split.  My problem is that I cannot seem to let go.  I think about him all the time, worry about him and I know he is doing foolish things.  All things I have no control over and logically know I do not want in my life.  I guess I just want to know why men say they love you and then cannot control themselves concerning sex.  And not think it is wrong or disrespectful.  Can you explain that one for me? ...Tara  

Answer:  From what I can gather from your letter, it seems apparent that your ex saw your relationship as one where his desires and wishes were of paramount importance, while yours were, annoying and insignificant.  A relationship built on such inequality is doomed from the beginning, and the fact that you were able to last for three and a half years is simply a testament to your tolerance and determination to continue to invest in a losing commodity - him.

For the most part, I am of the belief that sexual behavior between two consenting adults should be as "white bread" or kinky as both the participants are comfortable with.  In other words, if you both got off on S & M, go for it.  But his badgering you to participate in an activity that he knew would cause you physical pain - pain which you obviously did not want to endure - is the epitome of selfishness and shows a blatant disregard for you and your feelings.  In fact, the only masochistic tendencies you exhibited were those that lead you to remain in a less-than-satisfying relationship with a semi-sadistic narcissist.  And while he may have been motivated to infidelity by his sex addiction, his rubbing your face in it by suggesting you should "go away for a couple months" so he could satisfy his desire to engage in extracurricular activities, smacks of emotional abuse, in light of your supposedly monogamous status.    

At this point, one has to wonder why would you have any positive feeling left for this guy, given the heinous treatment you endured during your relationship, and the slandering you were subject to after?  You can certainly do much better.  Let me repeat that - "you can do much better." And, yes, you can let go - you just don't want to badly enough.  So quit it!  Stop indulging your bruised and battered self-esteem.  Regardless of any positive attributes he may have possessed, overwhelmingly your ex was bad news.  And the only reason to waste additional emotional energy on him, is because you want to continue to revel in the misery that was your relationship.  At best, that's dysfunctional - at worst, deeply self-destructive.  You've left him physically, now cut the emotional ties, and cut them for good!

Now (at long last), to your question: "Why do men say they love you and then cannot control themselves concerning sex?"  The fact is, they can, but they sometimes choose not to, either because of laziness, weakness or lack of discipline.  Still others just don't want to control their activities, and view your attempts to quash their philandering ways as a personal affront. Your ex falls into the latter category.  And while this group of men may be fully cognizant of the fact that treating you like that is wrong and disrespectful, they are just too self-involved to really care.    

But do not despair.  There are many good guys out there who understand the meaning of fidelity, and are interested and even anxious to be involved in a mutually rewarding sexual/emotional relationship with you - one without torture, physical pain, and ongoing emotional abuse.  Actively focus on seeking out one of these guys, while simultaneously severing all ties with the protagonist of your painful past.  Do this, and I promise that your heart and your self-esteem will both breathe a big sigh of relief.

If you have any questions about men, relationships, dating or a related topic, please feel free to email them to me at: david@EveryManSeesYouNaked.com. I will try to answer as many as I possibly can here in my column. If you are interested in a more comprehensive compendium of musings on the male mind, check out David's Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider's Guide to How Men Think. 

(C) 2010 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jan 19, 2010
    • Wow! Great question AND great answer! The only thing I would add is that Tara possibly needs to go to counseling if she is unable to just walk away....  

      Good Luck Tara!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Jan 27, 2010
    • Vikki’s right. Counseling is an excellent idea and crucial to assist in starting over again. A man like that can get into your head and twist your mind into next Tuesday.
      It will be extremely helpful for the girl to get around ‘normal’ and healthy people again. It will take time and isn’t an easy road breaking away from someone like that once you‘re in their ‘grips’ but she can do it.
      The ultimate key is NO CONTACT with that ex.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Rebeccab wrote Jan 29, 2010
    • I agree with the posts previous to mine.  What happens between consenting adults is between them, and the operative term here is consenting.  It sounds like not only is the man into S/M in the bedroom he is also into domination of other aspects of relationships. That is where it become unhealthy.  I am concerned that you still have these feeelings and worry about him and agree that counseling could be beneficial for you.  Good luck to you.
      Rebecca



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Feb 20, 2010
    • I second Rebeccab’s answer.

      Peace
      Tammy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Feb 21, 2010
    • I agree with Vikki
      Good Q&A



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Macy wrote Feb 21, 2010
    • I completely agree with all advice given in this blog. What you endured in my opinion is abuse both sexually and emotionally and this has severely affected your self esteem. Counselling is paramount to your happiness and just be sure to seek out the right kind of help, not just anyone but a professional who deals with this type of abuse.



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