Help me not to bug out

InxInx Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Some of you might have been here for my thread about some bedroom problems I was having, which ended when I posted that my girlfriend had broken up with me.

As an update, we got back together fairly quickly, as the decision had been made in a state of tiredness and anger and frustration. We're working things out, and one of the major issues that I need to be working on is a small jealousy problem that's popped up, alongside a lot of insecurity issues I've had for years. I've never HAD jealousy issues before, so I really don't know how to deal with them. I've made an appointment with a therapist, but that isn't until next week, and right now I've got a problem that I'm trying not to blow out of proportion.

She was in Vancouver this past weekend for a convention, and while I missed her I knew she needed the space and whatnot, but today I notice something in my Facebook news feed. Someone had posted on her wall, "Hey, honey! Wanted to message you to let you know it was me, but FB wouldn't let me. Good to meet you on the weekend - my email is on my info page if you ever make that gif from the strip club, lol! xx"

Now I don't think she cheated on me - the person who posted it was a woman, and I know that the fans of the show she was at the convention for just have a close camaraderie - calling her honey was just a platonic thing. And I know that she wouldn't have fucked a guy at the strip club because she's not that kind of person and she wouldn't do something like that to me or to anyone.

What IS bothering me is that she never mentioned the strip club thing to me, which makes me worried that she was trying to hide it, and what the hell could have been worth making a gif of. I have no idea what realistically goes on in these places, so I'm fabricating all these ridiculous things in my head and it's driving me up the wall.

I don't WANT to be freaking out about this. Especially not now, when our relationship is in such a delicate state due to me being kinda clingy. Freaking out about this is exactly the thing that will drive her away, and is exactly the thing I wouldn't want her to do to ME in this scenario. I'm reacting like my ex would have reacted, which fucking kills me because she was super jealous and clingy and possessive and I hated it.

But at the same time, she knows I'm really insecure about my body - I'm overweight and a little below average in the pants, and my medical state is in the pits. Knowing she went to this place to ogle some dudeflesh, and had an experience that was apparently caught on camera and that someone wants a gif of is really making me feel like she's not satisfied with me. The odd part about this is that I don't give a fuck if she watches a porno, but this bugs me.

She wouldn't give a fuck if I went to a strip club, and I want to give her that same courtesy. I just hate not knowing what happened.

I haven't asked her about it because a) I just found out and b) there's no way I can bring it up without seeming jealous and insecure and clingy and nosey and all the things she hates.

tl;dr: girlfriend went to a strip club without telling me, help me not be a dick about it

Inx on

Posts

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    First thing that you have to consider is that you outright assumed that he went to a strip club from nothing but a comment mentioning a gif from a strip club.

    It's a fairly large reach I think. That comment was inane and confusing and honestly I have no idea what it's referencing, and neither do you. Your convictions that she did in fact go to a strip club with little to no proof that she did are a little concerning.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    There are so many variables in this situation. A) most strip clubs do not let you take pictures inside them. B) how do you know it was a male strip club? Most of my female friends would rather go to a lady strip club, because most dude strippers are NOT Magic Mike. C) How do you know she even went into one? maybe something funny was going on outside of one, and she took pictures.

    Try to put it out of your head and not focus on the negative. Definitely talk to your therapist ASAP.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2012
    Yeah.. this is...

    Okay. As has been pointed out, you don't KNOW that she did anything at all. You said she needed the space that weekend and you gave it to her and that was great; now let her keep it. Don't try to take it back from her now, it really will come off very poorly.

    She's with you now - let that count for something. You trust her or you don't. You said you do so.. do it. There is nothing particularly damning in that comment. And if she did go to one, who cares? Are you upset because you think she went or upset because she didn't tell you? If the latter, see the bolded statement.

    The other thing I want to say is congratulations for knowing you have a problem and making an appointment! But. Setting a foot in the door of that office, especially for your first appointment, is not going to be anything magical on its own. Therapy is a process, not a panacea. I'd heard such before I started going, but I didn't really understand until after I started going and got into the frame of mind to take it seriously - after which things actually got considerably worse for a while as I began to deal with all the mental garbage I'd accumulated over the years. What I'm trying to say here is that it's great you're making a start, and definitely mention that this incident is a problem, but you may or may not walk out of there feeling better about it right away. That's not a failure on anyone's part, just an indicator that you can't talk away from years of insecurity with an hour of introductory conversation.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I'm pretty sure the only strip clubs in Vancouver are female strip clubs, and on the rare occasions I have been to them for batchelor parties, there have been TONS of regular women (ie paying customers) in there, hanging out and having a fun time (I.e. nothing sexual at all, just having fun and laughing around). It seems that in Van, the girls consider a strip club to be just like any other place. Heck, even female friends of mine have invited me to go along with them in the past, or come along with us when we have gone!

    I guess what I am trying to say is that it's most probable she just went along to a regular strip club with a bunch of people from the convention. That's not as suspicious as it sounds in this city, folks do it a lot :)

    cmsamo on
    steam_sig.png
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    If you think you're making a mountain out of a molehill then just stop doing that. It may take some effort to actively try to think of something else, but if you want to do what I think you're trying to do (give this relationship another chance) just let it go; if you practice you will get past this. I don't do social networking so I'm not sure if this is feasible, but maybe don't check out her wall if 3rd party comments are going to cause you grief?

    Her going to a strip club does not mean you're lacking in any way. It just means she went to a strip club. While people like to think a lot of fucking is going on there, that's generally not the for casual customers. I think there are some self esteem/body image issues you need to be working on. Not that those are necessarily threats to your relationship as a loving partner would not beat you up with that (and would try to bolster your confidence), but it's something that you will telegraph to everyone (not just your partner). Either take action (change diet, exercise) or let go of your attachment to looking a certain way or being a certain size. It will make your life better whether or not this relationship is successful.

  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Everyone here is entirely right - she might not even have gone, but I still think she probably did because she's impulsive like that.

    @ceres - It's more about her not telling me than her doing it. I don't even care that she didn't tell me BEFOREHAND, but rather that I'm not sure she was ever going to tell me at all. I did a lot of thinking since I posted this and I really don't give a fuck if she went to a strip club, but if she was hiding it, that feels suspicious to me. I don't feel like wanting to know whether or not she went to a strip club is invading her space, either. Hell, right now all I want to know is whether or not she intended on hiding it from me, and if so, -why-. It kind of makes me feel like she doesn't trust me or that she ended up breaking my trust. I get that she needs her space, but if I need something to help me keep peace of mind, shouldn't I be allowed it?

    Also, I've been to therapy before with some really solid results, but it ended before a lot of my problems could be resolved due to me graduating college and my therapist having been part of the student aid thing that we had on campus. I didn't have the money or inclination to find a new therapist since then, but this whole situation has been a wakeup call.

    @cmsamo - it's really not that she went to the club (if she even did), or if there were dudes. It's that I might never have known about it if someone didn't post it on her facebook.

    @Djeet - I hadn't even checked her wall - it popped up in my newsfeed, right on my front page. As far as letting it go goes, I want to do that but I also want to ask her if she intended on telling me about it.

    I absolutely have some body issues, and I'm working on getting into better shape and also working on being happy with myself as I am, but both of those are complicated by other issues - I'm on two medications that are steroid based, so losing weight is super difficult, and my insecurity is really long-standing to the point where I need the professional help that I'm just now starting to get.


    I don't know guys, is it unreasonable for me to want to know if she was going to hide it from me? Because that's the reason I want to know what happened and what would be in this supposed gif. It's possible when I finally see her (she's been back for days but hasn't wanted to see me, and has barely spoken to me, which I've been trying not to think about) that she'll tell me without being prompted and that I'm just being a goose, but if she doesn't am I out of line for asking? If the situation were reversed, I feel like she'd have every right to be a little suspicious, but at the same time I'd tell her I was going to a strip club regardless of why I was going.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    There's no way to bring it up gracefully. There just isn't.

    I mean, you're not even really able to articulate what's upsetting you: not that she went to a club, not that she betrayed your trust in some way, etc. This tells me that the problem is your own insecurity.

    And I don't want to minimize that because it's tough to deal with and because it seems like you're aware of it and are trying to get it worked out. But essentially what you'd be saying is that you can't bring yourself to actually trust her, which would be bad enough if you hadn't told her the exact opposite in advance.

    NREqxl5.jpg
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    That's just it - I really DON'T think something shady went down. Like, she's just not the cheating type. It's the potential hiding-it-from-me aspect to it. Even if she was hiding it from me, I don't think it's because she fucked a dude or something, but I am worried that it'd be because she thinks I'd have told her that I don't want her going to strip clubs or enjoying herself with her friends, which is NOT the kind of person I am. I've noticed in the past that her perceptions of some of the things I say are colored by the fact that her last boyfriend wanted her to give up everything for him. I've never once asked her not to see her friends or to spend every day with me, but there were times when she felt like I was saying it without saying it.

    So I guess my worry is that I'm scared her not telling me something like this is a sign that no matter what I do, I can't save the relationship because she's just going to end up running from it when it gets too serious for her.

    Also, one of the reasons I started this topic was because I knew that in responding to the comments, I would better be able to articulate and understand exactly what had be so upset. It's like group therapy, almost. And I really appreciate you guys talking this through with me.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    She shouldn't have to tell you about her every breath for you to trust her. Why are you suspicious that she's maliciously hiding something just because she might not have told you everything she did on vacation (which you aren't even positive about)? She was there to be with her friends, not to write you a report.

    I think if you actually want to have this girl in your life you're going to need to learn to let things go. Completely. If you ask her if she intended to hide something, you are accusing her of hiding it, and that will not go well for you. Between your clinginess and your jealousy and your unreasonable leap to a negative conclusion, you are coming off as really, really overbearing, and we aren't even dating you.

    If this were really an isolated thing (and from some of the things you're saying I'm not sure it is), then it would be reasonable to simply ask if she went, but you sound ready to condemn her either way, and that is very unhealthy.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    That's not an unreasonable desire, but it may not be practical to indulge such given your desire to keep the relationship and your decision to "give her space" to that end.

    What may be unreasonable is your casting this as a significant ethics decision on her part. It may or may not be (I think her lack or communication since returning to town is a lot more probative of something, but I don't know what and it's speculation anyways). It may be that she has a bee up her bonnet and is not communicating out of pride or spite (not great, but if that's the case I'd just let sleeping dogs lie until this relationship is less rocky). Ethics with respect to personal behavior is highly subjective. Any advice you get with respect to ethics of disclosure of personal behavior will likely be very subjective (I don't think this a case of abuse).

    Basically, do you trust her enough to feel confident that if anything important happened on that night that she'd tell you about it? If so, forgetaboutit.

    Is it that she did not disclose? That's dicey. I don't want to step on anyone's conception of respect in a relationship, but personally I don't have the time or mindspace to be upset about issues that weren't slights/failures. And I don't think maintaining privacy about personal ventures is a slight. I think boobies figuring in may be tempering your perspective. If she secretly met with a Twilight book club and didn't tell you about it and it came up in your feed you wouldn't give a shit.

    If you cannot let it go then talk to her, but use your "I" statements and go into it with the understanding that you're having the issue, it may or may not be fair to be blaming her actions. If you are assertively on the offensive in this situation, then you're going to have a bad day. Your objective would be to get her talking about it, and not getting her to apologize to you for a perceived grievance.

  • InxInx Registered User regular
    @ceres I get your point, but this isn't like I'm asking where she had dinner last night. I'm not asking for every detail of her trip, just whether or not she actually went to a strip club. I don't feel like that's an unreasonable thing to want to know in a relationship that's been going on for a year. I'm not trying to condemn her, like I said I don't think she did anything shady, but like...is it serious unreasonable for someone to be concerned about the idea of their SO going to a strip club and deliberately not telling them about it? Do normal, functioning people just take that idea and go "meh whatever"? Maybe I'm crazier than I thought.

    @Djeet All I want to know is if she was going to tell me about it. I don't want an apology for her having gone, if she did, or even an apology for if she wasn't going to tell me. I just want to know if the idea had crossed her mind, and if she'd be open to letting me know in the future just as a courtesy to me while I'm getting my shit together. I also think a Twilight book club and a strip club are two entirely different things, specifically because one involves genitals.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    If you trust her, let her keep secrets. They are stupid silly secrets you don't care about anyways.

    Sorry if I seemed flip. I think you're overthinking this.

    If she ruins it, she ruins it, all you can do is be yourself and offer trust. Don't put yourself through this.

    Essee
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    All I want to know is if she was going to tell me about it. I don't want an apology for her having gone, if she did, or even an apology for if she wasn't going to tell me. I just want to know if the idea had crossed her mind, and if she'd be open to letting me know in the future just as a courtesy to me while I'm getting my shit together.

    You need to understand that this is just equivocation. You either care or you don't. Either one is fine as long as you are honest about it, but you are trying to have it both ways.

    NREqxl5.jpg
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Why can't you trust that if she doesn't tell you, it's not a big deal and not worth mentioning?

    Why do you assume that if she didn't tell you something, she's hiding some deep, dark secrets from you?

    Essee
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I have some interesting perspective on this, I feel. Since my marriage just ended under strained (e.g. shattered) trust circumstances, I can say this: Trust her until she gives you a reason not to, because your day, and your life, are too short to sit around wondering what she's doing or what she's hiding from you.

    I think you are putting way too much stock in the fact that she might have gone to a strip club. You say you don't care that she did, but as Pig said, that's equivocation. You say you don't care, but you DO care, specifically because it was a strip club. A strip club that you aren't even sure she actually went to. For that matter, if she did go to a strip club with her girlfriends, so? If she had come home and told you "Man, we went to this crazy party at a strip club, and there was a DJ, and we had a great time!", would you bat an eyelash or just have a laugh and a "Oh wow, that's cool!" story moment?

    If the real issue is that she didn't tell you, that is a bonafide trust issue, and likely one internal to you. As much as it may sound condescending, the answer to that question is: Stop. Just stop. If that thought starts to creep in to your mind, axe it, focus your mind on something else. Read a book, watch a video.

    TL;DR: Until your girlfriend gives you an actual reason not to trust her, trust her...because that's what a relationship is at a fundamental level, implicit trust. Take this coming from someone who's marriage was nuked from orbit over my wife cheating on me. To this day, I still firmly believe in trust as the bedrock of a relationship...and trust just isn't them "proving" to you they are trustworthy, it's you letting go and realizing her life is still hers, and you have to trust her to make the correct decisions.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Inx wrote: »
    I'm not trying to condemn her, like I said I don't think she did anything shady, but like...is it serious unreasonable for someone to be concerned about the idea of their SO going to a strip club and deliberately not telling them about it?

    That bolded part is the issue here. Because YOU think it's a big thing for a person to do, you not telling your SO about it would probably be a deliberate choice on your part. The thing is, maybe your SO doesn't think going to a strip club (where there are presumably a bunch of half-naked women, not men, so they are presumably not competition for you) is a big deal, and was just a funny, silly thing to do with her friends. In that case, she would not "deliberately" be not telling you about it... it would just be something she didn't tell you about. And who knows, maybe she'll bring it up when she talks to you again-- and I agree that if it's been a good while since she's talked to you after she got back, THAT would be more of a concern than this strip club thing. But still not automatically something you need to worry about. I'm guessing after that last relationship, and breaking up with you for a bit recently, she probably wants more space than the average girl, so she might do some things that seem odd to you like not talking to you for a little while. Let her decide what she wants to do rather than going and worrying about the relationship being ruined, because ultimately whether she sticks with the relationship or not is her decision and therefore out of your hands.

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    All I want to know is if she was going to tell me about it. I don't want an apology for her having gone, if she did, or even an apology for if she wasn't going to tell me. I just want to know if the idea had crossed her mind, and if she'd be open to letting me know in the future just as a courtesy to me while I'm getting my shit together.

    You need to understand that this is just equivocation. You either care or you don't. Either one is fine as long as you are honest about it, but you are trying to have it both ways.

    I think this is a good point, but I would add that you seem to have already made up your mind. Something about the strip club bothers you. That's fine. I personally think you should share this with you SO. Don't get angry, or start accusing. Just approach it as something that hasn't come up before, but you saw that she went to a strip club and you're not sure how you feel about it. Then you could say that you would like to know in the future, or you can say you would rather she didn't go to strip clubs.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    I'm not even going to respond individually because you're all entirely right, and I'm being a big goose and kind of a dick. Anything I say to the contrary is going to be laced with excuses, which is another thing I'm trying to work on.

    I guess I just feel really out of control in this whole situation, like Essee said, it's out of my hands, and right now I don't have control over ANY aspect of my life - health, finances, romance - and I'm freaking out in a lot of ways. I'm worried that I'll never be right for her no matter how hard I try, and that I'm going to lose a woman who means a whole lot to me. Like, we've said some serious shit to each other that a) I had never had anyone say to me and b) I had never said to anyone else and meant it.

    My last girlfriend was kinda similar to her last boyfriend, only I let her abuse me and bring me down for five years before finally mustering what courage and dignity I had left to break up with her over the phone while she was states away. I thought taking that stand had solved my problems but I was entirely wrong and now I'm realizing just how much damage she actually did to me. I genuinely don't believe that I'm worth anyone's time, let alone my girlfriend's, but at the same time I crave her attention and her approval. I'm really screwed up and I can't stand on my own feet right now, and that terrifies her.

    I'm really sorry, guys - this whole post is terribly off-topic. Thanks for all your advice, I do appreciate it. I'm not sure I'll be able to successfully make USE of it, but that's on me.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Well, no wonder you have girlfriend trust issues if you had an abusive, controlling, girlfriend before.

    Standing up to your previous girlfriend was a great, great first step...but no, it didn't solve the problem. She still spent five years tearing you down, and you have to build yourself back up now. Going to therapist is a great start, so keep on that.

    The second part is realizing that you are projecting your old girlfriend issues on to your new girlfriend, and to consciously try and stop. No it's not easy, and no it won't just happen....but part of being a better person is consciously focusing on doing those little things that get you closer to the goal.

    As a completely round about, but important question, what did you do after that last breakup? Did you focus on YOU at all? Try and eat healthier, go to the gym, focus on your career a little? Focusing on you after a bad relationship is often the key to picking yourself back up and moving on.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    This reminds me of that saying, "When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail". Just because you're having trust, jealousy, and inadequacy (?) issues doesn't mean everything is related to that. I think your recent troubles are coloring your perception of events.

    You're making this into a thing because your brain has been making things into things recently. I think the real issue here is your lack of self esteem and confidence in yourself and your relationship.

    EsseeDjeet
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    Yeah, I agree with RocketSauce. I think it may be time to focus on YOU for a while. Get a gym membership, focus on your career, find some hobbies, do things for YOU. That may mean this current relationship doesn't make it, or, it could have the inverse effect. Your girlfriend seeing your self esteem pick up, and you focusing on your health and your well being, may very well draw her closer to you.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    Essee
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Maybe I'm off base here, but I just wanted to reiterate that I don't think it's wrong to not want your gf going to a strip club. It's also not wrong to want to know if she is going to go to a strip club in the future. These are perfectly reasonable sentiments to have. It's not reasonable to get angry at your gf for going, if you've never talked about it before, but it's perfectly fine to mention how you feel now that the issue has come up.

    This sounds like how you feel. I really think you should tell your gf that. What you shouldn't do is accuse her of hiding the fact that she went to a strip club, or get angry that she went.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
    Essee
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    @GnomeTank I'm really trying not to let myself project too hard, which is kind of where the therapy comes in. After my last relationship ended I spent a year trying to figure out what to do with myself but didn't really make any progress. I think I needed something to like, live for? And I don't mean I was suicidal, I mean I just had no reason to actually get up and experience the world. A couple months before my girlfriend and I got together, I lost my job and kinda stopped doing things. When I got with my girlfriend, I had a reason to shave, a reason to fill my gas tank up, a reason to go places - money and employment hadn't been enough of a motivator.

    So, while I'm not trying to enact this change FOR her, it's definitely because she's helped me see that I need to.

    I've been doing a lot for myself lately, actually - career is further along than ever, made some major progress writing, getting really into painting warhammer 40k minis.

    @Jebus314 I agree that it's not unreasonable to get angry at her for going to a strip club, but only if I want to expect the same treatment. I'm all about reciprocity, and I wouldn't want her getting mad at me if the situations were reversed, so in this case it kinda IS unreasonable, yanno?

    If I bring it up, which I'm starting to think I could deal with not doing, it would be really hard not to come off accusitorily for me.

  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    If you don't think you can talk about it without being accusatory, it's probably best not to, at the very least until you can think of a way to phrase it better. Being accusatory automatically puts the other person on the defensive, and in this case less likely to talk about it without it turning into a shoutfest.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    I've never been to Vancouver, but i know when i went to new orleans, we ended up popping into strip clubs almost every night. It wasn't the focus of the night, and we spent no more than like 20-30 minutes in them. if someone asked me how my night was, i probably wouldn't even think to mention that i went to a strip club. Just because she didn't detail every aspect of her trip, doesn't mean she is hiding anything from you.

  • InxInx Registered User regular
    I think I'm going to do my best not to even think about it. If she went, she went - I know that she wouldn't cheat on me, especially not with a stripper. If I love her, I've got to trust her like I'd want her to trust me, and that means letting this go.

    Two things gave me what I needed to make this decision: this thread, and a visceral reaction to just seeing her ex's NAME. I really, genuinely resent this guy, not for making my relationship more difficult, but for doing to her what my ex did to me. I've resolved not to hurt her like that, hard as it might be sometimes to let things go and let her fly.

    I really appreciate everything, guys. Thanks.

Sign In or Register to comment.