Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk @ googlemail dot com. We shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.
This week's question...
SC writes: I've been with a chap for a couple of years and it's always felt a bit unequal in terms of effort and affection invested. A few months ago, after a particular exchange, I said I couldn't continue as it was too painful to care so much and receive such a poor level of return. After a couple of weeks, however, I swallowed my frustration and proposed trying to work things out.
While we were apart his ex-girlfriend got in touch out of the blue and they went for a drink. I was initially wholly unbothered – I'm not particularly jealous; I've always snared girls for group sex antics with those I've dated and never previously had a problem with exes etc. It transpires that she's keen on restarting things, though, and that they had 'a bit of a kiss'. As we were kind of split up at the time I was prepared to accept and move on, but I later accidentally see the start of a message saying something like 'I love having your cock in my mouth, God I missed you - thank you for my night of violation..'. I understandably want to check what the fuck's going on, so ask if he's considering reviving anything with her.
He unconvincingly dismisses what I saw as fantasy on her part, and replies: 'well, not at the moment, no'. So suddenly I'm bothered. This is surely an outrageous response - you don't leave open the possibility of resurrecting things with your ex if you're supposedly serious about who you're currently with, right? Rather than at least admitting it's objectionable he angrily calls my concern 'pathetically neurotic' and 'quite some feat of paranoia', which is actually the most galling part – I'm calmly rational and just want to know where I stand. If nothing happened he should go out of his way to categorically explain and reassure, however tedious, and if it did he should have the balls to be upfront. Amidst this uncertainty I'm supposed to be totally at ease with them hanging out. I would like to be, I just think it's an unreasonable expectation given the absence of clarity. The couple of friends I've run his line past have looked at me with confused pity for still being around, but I'm interested in an impartial opinion from you guys.
‘Mr Sex’ says: Fucking hell.
Alright, first things first; yes, he’s being a bell-end. Taking a reasonable accusation (“You’re carrying on with your ex”) and throwing it back in someone’s face (“You’re being paranoid”) is the mark of a twat and a Jeremy Kyle guest. Of course you’re going to be bothered about an ex appearing from nowhere, even if it didn’t involve text-filth, and if he can’t see that, he’s being a tosser. Taking into consideration your assertion that you’re giving a lot out and getting next to fuck-all in return, the only possible course of action is to realise things aren’t going to get any better, and get shot of him as soon as humanly possible.
What I want to address, however, is this nipping out and getting other women in for threesomes business, because – unless you’re careful as fuck, know what you’re on with, and have the right partner of similar temperament – it’s a recipe for disaster every time. Christ on a crisp packet, it’s hard enough to trust someone in a standard relationship these days – bringing other people into the mix requires monumental levels of trust, and intense boundary-drawing of
Of course, that’s not saying that an open relationship of the type you’re hankering after is impossible (and I’m hoping that one or two of our readers who dabble in that field might be able to put you straight here) – it just needs more work than the standard type. I suggest you move on, learn, and go after what you want with someone worthy of your openness.
Sam says: In this sort of situation, it’s all about watching what he's doing, and ignoring what he's saying.
1) While you're attempting to patch things up, he is getting together with an ex and clearly getting his end away.
2) He takes, takes, takes takes in the relationship and doesn’t give you what you want back – he’s a blood-sucking relationship vampire
3) He clearly doesn’t have much invested in the relationship, because he’s already warming up his Plan B.
He’s a lost cause. Forget it. Move on. The only question you should be really asking yourself is; why are you still with such a tosser? Why are you putting up with getting so much less than you give?
The problem is athough you don’t want to admit it, you’ve invested a lot in this guy. You’ve spent a couple of years in your life hoping that things will get better. They haven’t, but it takes guts to chuck away that investment. It’s a bit like having put a whole lot of money into your savings account, and then the bank is shafting you like crazy by not letting you take your money out and giving you an absolutely shitty interest rate. The smart thing is to cut your losses, get out and start up with a new bank that will actually treat you properly. The problem is when they suggest that things might get better, there is a little bit of you that wants to believe them, a little bit that hopes you really are going to get your hands on all that hard-earned cash again.
Try this little trick; every time you think about staying with him, pause, have a bit of a stretch (to shift you into neutral) and then think about the five worst, most horrible, awful things that he has done to you. Really remember them in detail, how they felt, looked, sounded, maybe even smelt. Really remember how horrible and shitty he made you feel. Then ask yourself; ‘Should I stay with him?’. Your brain is smart, and moves away from pain – I can pretty much guarantee the answer will be ‘Get the hell out, right now!’. Repeat as necessary every time you waver.
Also, if you are into the whole swinging thing, go out, get on some websites and have some fun with some other couples. As a woman you are in the position of power and get to pick and choose who you fancy most. That way you get to be the centre of attention, have people chase you, and get reminded that you are sexy and attractive and that there are people out there who are willing to give rather than just take. Hopefully it will give you some extra powder in your keg to blow this idiot off.
Readers of TT: Comment!