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Old 07-25-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default Is Your Good Nature Killing You?

there seems to be a lot of very sad guys on dims. sometimes it seems there are a lot of guys with mental and emotional issues. i do have empathy and so does everybody else and boy do they sometimes use it against us! when they misbehave they count on us to keep their secrets and feel sorry for them and make allowances. they find it easy to take up a woman's time without intention even when they know she is actually looking. they find it easy to socialize, flirt and never date anyone-- not to mention chatting and making promises but never meeting. we're expected to listen to long drawn out exhortations about their preferences and web models they have crushes on and also hear every day how much of a burden it is to "admire" a fat woman. i have a problem with the word admire because its not an engaging word. its something looked at and not touched. our own problems and issues are an afterthought or something they just don't want to think about because it spoils a fat fantasy. we often try to listen and be patient and supportive--but to what end? boy do they have us soft hearted fat girls pegged. but maybe we have to be more soft hearted for us for a change? i know a lot of folks are tired of having others work out their angst on us in one way or another as a group. don't we have enough to deal with already? it makes me wonder of some of them are really attracted at all or its just that they know where to go to get tolerance. is that why so few of them are even willing to date or be in a relationship? is it really about us or just about them? what are your feelings? *rant over*
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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For me this is definitely true, but probably not in that particular context. It's funny that in certain areas of my life I'm no nonsense and matter of fact about things. One would think I haven't an empathetic bone in my body but then in certain other aspects I seem to stumble and flounder about helplessly each time. I find myself in circumstances like that so often that I'm forced to have to stop and take a look at myself. It would be really easy to blame the other person in this instance but if I'm really honest with myself I have to confess that the problem is of my own doing, especially if it keeps happening. It's up to me to set boundaries and speak truthfully. My empathy gets the better of me at times and it obscures some obvious variables in the circumstance. I want to be understanding and treat him in the same compassionate manner I would wish to be treated within the same circumstance but often times the circumstance in NOT the same. He's not me, and if he were me he would not be using his weaknesses as a form of control. I would never do that and sometimes you have to see someone's actions for what they are and take the appropriate action. Otherwise you have no one but yourself to blame for allowing toxic circumstances to continue. It seems harsh but I've found in my case it is necessary. It's more helpful to me AND him. I'm doing him no favors by allowing him to get away with toxic behavior. Either it will be the push he needs to get back on his feet or it will be the push he needs to walk away and seek another mark. I've never been disappointed in this approach but when lingering on in toxic relationships the disappointments are legion.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
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If you don't want to be friends with a guy..then don't. Be honest to yourself and him about your intentions.

I also agree with Lilly....avoid toxic relationships no matter what the gender or what type of relationship it is.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LillyBBBW View Post
For me this is definitely true, but probably not in that particular context. It's funny that in certain areas of my life I'm no nonsense and matter of fact about things. One would think I haven't an empathetic bone in my body but then in certain other aspects I seem to stumble and flounder about helplessly each time. I find myself in circumstances like that so often that I'm forced to have to stop and take a look at myself. It would be really easy to blame the other person in this instance but if I'm really honest with myself I have to confess that the problem is of my own doing, especially if it keeps happening. It's up to me to set boundaries and speak truthfully. My empathy gets the better of me at times and it obscures some obvious variables in the circumstance. I want to be understanding and treat him in the same compassionate manner I would wish to be treated within the same circumstance but often times the circumstance in NOT the same. He's not me, and if he were me he would not be using his weaknesses as a form of control. I would never do that and sometimes you have to see someone's actions for what they are and take the appropriate action. Otherwise you have no one but yourself to blame for allowing toxic circumstances to continue. It seems harsh but I've found in my case it is necessary. It's more helpful to me AND him. I'm doing him no favors by allowing him to get away with toxic behavior. Either it will be the push he needs to get back on his feet or it will be the push he needs to walk away and seek another mark. I've never been disappointed in this approach but when lingering on in toxic relationships the disappointments are legion.
yes exactly. i really love what you said about it being a toxic relationship and weakness being a form of control because it is. i think its very easy to delude oneself that its a friendship or you're being helpful when you really aren't. whats often happening is that you are allowing the person to become more retarded in development and justifying him in self retardation.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:38 PM   #5
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there seems to be a lot of very sad guys on dims. sometimes it seems there are a lot of guys with mental and emotional issues. i do have empathy and so does everybody else and boy do they sometimes use it against us! when they misbehave they count on us to keep their secrets and feel sorry for them and make allowances. they find it easy to take up a woman's time without intention even when they know she is actually looking. they find it easy to socialize, flirt and never date anyone-- not to mention chatting and making promises but never meeting. we're expected to listen to long drawn out exhortations about their preferences and web models they have crushes on and also hear every day how much of a burden it is to "admire" a fat woman. i have a problem with the word admire because its not an engaging word. its something looked at and not touched. our own problems and issues are an afterthought or something they just don't want to think about because it spoils a fat fantasy. we often try to listen and be patient and supportive--but to what end? boy do they have us soft hearted fat girls pegged. but maybe we have to be more soft hearted for us for a change? i know a lot of folks are tired of having others work out their angst on us in one way or another as a group. don't we have enough to deal with already? it makes me wonder of some of them are really attracted at all or its just that they know where to go to get tolerance. is that why so few of them are even willing to date or be in a relationship? is it really about us or just about them? what are your feelings? *rant over*
sad but true.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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yes exactly. i really love what you said about it being a toxic relationship because it is. i think its very easy to delude oneself that its a friendship or your being helpful when you really aren't. whats often happening is that you are allowing the person to become more retarded in development and justifying him in self retardation.
ahahahahah....self retardation..that tickled me. Yeah its not helpful to let someone walk around with their zipper down and toilet paper on their shoe because you might offend them by telling them so.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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yes exactly. i really love what you said about it being a toxic relationship and weakness being a form of control because it is. i think its very easy to delude oneself that its a friendship or you're being helpful when you really aren't. whats often happening is that you are allowing the person to become more retarded in development and justifying him in self retardation.
I find also that my own self esteem tends to complicate matters when it comes to standing up for myself. A few years ago I was in a toxic friendship with a woman who was very well liked by everyone and we ran in the same circles. I wasn't near as popular as she was and hadn't the history with everyone she had, yet I was being sorely taken advantage of and needed to take action. I feared that doing so would put me in a bad light and naturally everyone would take sides and rally around her. Crossing her would in a sense make me a social pariah. We can declare the high ground on this all we like and recite life affirming slogans about doing what's right but I knew the severance would have a tangible impact and at that stage of my developement I knew it would be a bitter pill to swallow. Time is a powerful vindicator though. The fallout wasn't near as horrible as I imagined it would be and in the end I did myself a favor. Those who were my friends truly *were* my friends who honor and respect me and most of all, I can honor and respect myself. It was the best decision I ever made though it was not an easy one to make.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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I find also that my own self esteem tends to complicate matters when it comes to standing up for myself. A few years ago I was in a toxic friendship with a woman who was very well liked by everyone and we ran in the same circles. I wasn't near as popular as she was and hadn't the history with everyone she had, yet I was being sorely taken advantage of and needed to take action. I feared that doing so would put me in a bad light and naturally everyone would take sides and rally around her. Crossing her would in a sense make me a social pariah. We can declare the high ground on this all we like and recite life affirming slogans about doing what's right but I knew the severance would have a tangible impact and at that stage of my developement I knew it would be a bitter pill to swallow. Time is a powerful vindicator though. The fallout wasn't near as horrible as I imagined it would be and in the end I did myself a favor. Those who were my friends truly *were* my friends who honor and respect me and most of all, I can honor and respect myself. It was the best decision I ever made though it was not an easy one to make.
these are great points. and in the community sense i think if people do or say certain things they fear the same kinds of repercussions. people have made some really great friends and don't want to lose them--friends who understand a lot that other's can't. that makes it doubly hard. so they don't want to say anything harsh because they fear the alienation. but like you said, your real friends will stick with you anyway and time will always prove you out.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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I've stayed completely away from romantic relationships for a very long time for pretty much just this reason. I tend to want to make people happy, and if what someone wants from me is sex, I'll fold like a cheap suit even when my logical brain is saying "Whoa, nelly." If they want money, time, a listening ear, an audience, someone to admire them, I tend towards trying to give it unless I catch myself. Eventually I resent that everything goes one way, but then, I created the situation by training them to believe that's the way things should be.

I've gotten better about making friendships reciprocal, although with my family it continues to be a work in progress to ask for as much I give. It's actually a bit easier in some ways to have my son that requires so much, because where I'll just roll my eyes and give up my comfort for my mom, anyone stepping on his toes will draw back a stump where their leg used to be.

I don't know if it's self esteem, exactly, so much as a psychotically helpful nature. It's not that I don't think I'm worthy of respect, it's that I want to fix everything and make everybody happy. I just get so focused on the goal, though, that I forget completely about making myself happy - a fact my ex-husband took full advantage of.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:58 PM   #10
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I've stayed completely away from romantic relationships for a very long time for pretty much just this reason. I tend to want to make people happy, and if what someone wants from me is sex, I'll fold like a cheap suit even when my logical brain is saying "Whoa, nelly." If they want money, time, a listening ear, an audience, someone to admire them, I tend towards trying to give it unless I catch myself. Eventually I resent that everything goes one way, but then, I created the situation by training them to believe that's the way things should be.

I've gotten better about making friendships reciprocal, although with my family it continues to be a work in progress to ask for as much I give. It's actually a bit easier in some ways to have my son that requires so much, because where I'll just roll my eyes and give up my comfort for my mom, anyone stepping on his toes will draw back a stump where their leg used to be.

I don't know if it's self esteem, exactly, so much as a psychotically helpful nature. It's not that I don't think I'm worthy of respect, it's that I want to fix everything and make everybody happy. I just get so focused on the goal, though, that I forget completely about making myself happy - a fact my ex-husband took full advantage of.
i was thinking about that too. aren't women kind of trained to be agreeable , supportive and nurturing. do you think that has something to do with it?
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:11 PM   #11
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I think that's part of it. Growing up, and especially around my great-grandmother and my grandmother, the behavior that got approval was being "nice." Don't run so hard, don't talk so loud, just sit here quietly and help me cook your grandfather's lunch, take care of your brother, take care of your cousins, take care of your sister, go around and make sure no one needs anything, etc. etc. Don't make a show of yourself, don't be a burden to anyone, to be a lady you have to wait quietly in the background until someone needs you.

And, of course, the absolutely worst thing you could possibly ever be: selfish.

It's only as an adult that I've started thinking that maybe selfish isn't actually that bad - certainly I don't hold it against other people when they think about their own good, and no one else is thinking about mine. The problem is how to actually turn a logical conclusion into something I actually live by.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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I think that's part of it. Growing up, and especially around my great-grandmother and my grandmother, the behavior that got approval was being "nice." Don't run so hard, don't talk so loud, just sit here quietly and help me cook your grandfather's lunch, take care of your brother, take care of your cousins, take care of your sister, go around and make sure no one needs anything, etc. etc. Don't make a show of yourself, don't be a burden to anyone, to be a lady you have to wait quietly in the background until someone needs you.

And, of course, the absolutely worst thing you could possibly ever be: selfish.

It's only as an adult that I've started thinking that maybe selfish isn't actually that bad - certainly I don't hold it against other people when they think about their own good, and no one else is thinking about mine. The problem is how to actually turn a logical conclusion into something I actually live by.
Oh, girlfriend, with family all hell is gonna break loose when you start thinking of your own needs and wants. Believe me I know. I've gotten sick and tired of my family. And I'm not even thinking about them anymore, they can take care of themselves and their own damn problems! If they can't I'll guess they have to learn in a hurry. They have obviously shown me many times that they don't give a damn about me, but this last time my lil ones were involved and, "oh hell no!!" don't be complacent about the safety and care of my lil ones, you'll be starting WWIII!! So, the hell with them. They don't need me and I sure as hell don't need them!!
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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Well, I'm a bisexual female, but as far as men are concerned............I believe it when I see it, if I don't see it then there is no way in hell I'm gonna believe it. I think I've learn my lesson dealing with those suckas. Because men say all sorts of things they think we want to hear. It takes time to weed out the good from the bad, but in some cases the bad can perservere.

And as far as women are concerned, so far, I've only been attracted to women who are feminine, so far, but I'm open to whomever treats me how I wished to be treated and we have a connection. I'm kinda new at dating women. Most of my experience with women have been sexual, but not that sexual. More of making out than anything. But, I can say that women can be as bad as men about wanting sex when you just met them, also and if you say no, they will get mad and don't want much to do with you. And.....they can be as objectifying as men. They can also don't call when they say they are and stand you up on dates, too. All the same shit only its a woman. Its more of finding someone who treats you with respect and as a human being, same thing as with men.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:12 PM   #14
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I find also that my own self esteem tends to complicate matters when it comes to standing up for myself. A few years ago I was in a toxic friendship with a woman who was very well liked by everyone and we ran in the same circles. I wasn't near as popular as she was and hadn't the history with everyone she had, yet I was being sorely taken advantage of and needed to take action. I feared that doing so would put me in a bad light and naturally everyone would take sides and rally around her. Crossing her would in a sense make me a social pariah. We can declare the high ground on this all we like and recite life affirming slogans about doing what's right but I knew the severance would have a tangible impact and at that stage of my development I knew it would be a bitter pill to swallow. Time is a powerful vindicator though. The fallout wasn't near as horrible as I imagined it would be and in the end I did myself a favor. Those who were my friends truly *were* my friends who honor and respect me and most of all, I can honor and respect myself. It was the best decision I ever made though it was not an easy one to make.
THIS. Almost word for word I experienced this and it was hell but also an 'AHA moment' I absolutely needed to prove to myself that in any relationship in the long run it was better to be true to me than to appease or suppress myself, my self respect and my needs. It taught me that 'peace at any cost' is not true peace at all.

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Oh, girlfriend, with family all hell is gonna break loose when you start thinking of your own needs and wants. Believe me I know. I've gotten sick and tired of my family. And I'm not even thinking about them anymore, they can take care of themselves and their own damn problems! If they can't I'll guess they have to learn in a hurry. They have obviously shown me many times that they don't give a damn about me, but this last time my lil ones were involved and, "oh hell no!!" don't be complacent about the safety and care of my lil ones, you'll be starting WWIII!! So, the hell with them. They don't need me and I sure as hell don't need them!!
My family (what's left of them--the true warriors have passed on) are the first ones to whisper, 'Shush! Don't make waves. Be happy. Be grateful for what you have.' It doesn't matter to them that I may be miserable. To them, I'm crazy for rocking the boat. Lucky for me, all they can do is talk (ohhh and they do) which is fine. If anything I use their reaction as a measure of what NOT to do. I trust my own instincts and successful mentors who have no vested interest in controlling me or my own.

Want to call me a bitch or ungrateful or worse? (gotta LOVE 'too independent' too)---Go right ahead but that won't stop me from using my voice and finding my OWN way.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:07 PM   #15
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If after 4-6 emails a man has not asked for my number I simply stop replying. Sometimes the retreat causes them to pursue and some times it doesn't. If a man wants me, he will pursue me. Women are no different. We like to pursue, too. Sadly, it never ends well. The man is the one who winds up retreating. So here are some 'rules' I live by when I am truly interested in a man.

1. After 4-6 emails I stop replying
2. Take red flags for what they are - no matter how handsome or attractive he appears to be.
3. If a man does not show interest in me as a person (asking me questions about my life, hopes, dreams), I drop him.

Sometimes this approach hurts because there have been men I have had a strong irrational attraction to. But experience has taught me that if they are not engaging and pursuing me to some degree, the romance I long for will never materialize into anything more than a fantasy.

That being said, Some men I just enjoy chatting with as friends. I accept the fact that they are going to say and do things that might cause some internal disapproval. If I have a real problem with their behavior I bring it up in a friendly way, free of judgment and give them the opportunity to redeem themselves. Typically, I keep it to myself, though. Criticism stops all hope of intimacy.

Every woman is special and different, so is every man. No one can say he or she is better than the other regardless of size, income, age or cultural background. We all have our unique gifts. Anyone who has known identical twins knows just how different even the most similar of people can be. So celebrate your differences and never look down on yourself. We are all works in progress and deserve to be loved by a suitable match. But if we wait around listening to the bores drone on, he just might pass us by. Besides, we might become jaded and bitter, thinking all men are like "that". I would hate for people to judge my shortcomings in that way - by putting me in a box as THAT kind of person. I say just accept people for who they are and choose relationships based on YOUR standards and at your own discretion.

Unless you are his therapist or mother, it is not your job to help him. Do you want a ward or a partner? I think the whole idea of 'helping' someone you see as being mentally, emotionally, or socially inferior while at the same time resenting them is perverse. But I have done it, too. As women we are natural nurturers and caretakers, but we must not let that get in the way of us taking care of ourselves. Let's keep those healthy boundaries, ladies!

>>> Gets off soap box...
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:43 PM   #16
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When it comes to the "broken wing" syndrome..the question is would you still be together if it were mended?
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:18 AM   #17
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When it comes to the "broken wing" syndrome..the question is would you still be together if it were mended?
In many cases no, and here's why. Relationships work best when both parties are growing and I've been on both ends of this scenario. Standing up for yourself contributes to your growth while doing nothing causes one to stagnate. If by some chance your partner is a stand up person, does progress and become a better person the chances s/he will continue on with you will be that much less because s/he will have outgrown you. You have very little to gain by contributing to both your and his retardation by doing nothing.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:57 AM   #18
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Good points made from everyone thus far! The one thing I would add is that we as human beings have a deep seated need to connect. We put ourselves out there in friendships, family relationships, and romantic entanglements because we want to feel wanted and needed. When hurt or disappointed we have to retreat, lick our wounds and prepare to go out again into the world to start over again(hopefully taking from it the lessons learned). There is nothing wrong in my opinion in continuing to be friends with someone as long as we are clear with the person we are dealing with that this is what the relationship is. Likewise we have to set our boundaries and people who are energy vampires, do not respect who we are and where we want to go need to be removed from our lives in order to allow us to grow. I have learned this the hard way not only in my personal life but in what I do for a paycheck. Sometimes you can spend years trying to help a person and they are not willing to take the steps to help themselves so you have to step back and let them fly or fall on their own resources. If you do not feel respect, love, and trust with a person then move on. If you continue to give past that point you do pay a price.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #19
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Good points made from everyone thus far! The one thing I would add is that we as human beings have a deep seated need to connect. We put ourselves out there in friendships, family relationships, and romantic entanglements because we want to feel wanted and needed. When hurt or disappointed we have to retreat, lick our wounds and prepare to go out again into the world to start over again(hopefully taking from it the lessons learned). There is nothing wrong in my opinion in continuing to be friends with someone as long as we are clear with the person we are dealing with that this is what the relationship is. Likewise we have to set our boundaries and people who are energy vampires, do not respect who we are and where we want to go need to be removed from our lives in order to allow us to grow. I have learned this the hard way not only in my personal life but in what I do for a paycheck. Sometimes you can spend years trying to help a person and they are not willing to take the steps to help themselves so you have to step back and let them fly or fall on their own resources. If you do not feel respect, love, and trust with a person then move on. If you continue to give past that point you do pay a price.
That is very well put and a couple of excellent points.

As much as many posters here laud the BHM board for being simple and drama free, one perennial problem that comes up all the time is a BHM posts pictures and if he is not drowned with compliments immediately, he gets angry and states that we're all fakes, don't really like fat guys, and the whole board needs to die in the proverbial internet fire. In many of these cases, the simple truth is the man in question was simply not physically appealing to the FFA and they politely said nothing. But we are always expected to be the ego boosters and emotional caretakers even if doing so would be a total lie.

Some men, not just on Dims, seem to believe that women are supposed to be perennially understanding of them even at the woman's own expense. An old friend of mine recently got separated. During his marriage he'd engaged in several affairs, including one that was quite serious. The mistress loved him very much and wanted him to leave his wife which he did not want to do at the time. She told him she loved him but did not want to be the other woman, and made a package of all the gifts he'd given her and sent them back. He called me very sad and angry and hurt that she would have done this. I pointed out that she was hurt and she was breaking up with him because he was married and he had nothing to offer her! He said that he did not want to leave his daughter and basically expected this woman to understand his feelings and his position and not hurt his feelings, nonwithstanding that he was married. He seemed to expect her to care about his feelings all the while not realizing that she got nothing from the relationship.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:55 AM   #20
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Sometimes you can spend years trying to help a person and they are not willing to take the steps to help themselves so you have to step back and let them fly or fall on their own resources.
And sometimes people don't want to be helped, which can be hard to accept. They say they do, they'll beg for help, but they'll sabotage every effort, so you're working harder than they are and then comforting them when every effort fails. They don't care about anything but keeping your world revolving around them, and it can be hard to recognize that when you're busily engaged in fixing things.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:27 AM   #21
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And sometimes people don't want to be helped, which can be hard to accept. They say they do, they'll beg for help, but they'll sabotage every effort, so you're working harder than they are and then comforting them when every effort fails. They don't care about anything but keeping your world revolving around them, and it can be hard to recognize that when you're busily engaged in fixing things.
THIS

I devoted 8 years of my life to a man who withheld physical affection and I barely noticed for the first five years because I was beset by tragedy after tragedy, deaths and their fallout, family crisis, work drama, etc. ad nauseum and it wasn't until I got deathly ill and was flat on my back for nearly two years that I woke up as from a dream and said WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

To the people who say, how could you have let this happen or lived with it--I'll tell you...it doesn't start out in the beginning as complete withdrawal and utter self-absorption. You see some red(ish) flags but you're still navigating the newness of the relationship and you love the person and think, maybe it's me-maybe I need to fix/adjust my own behavior and you try every fucking thing you can think of and nothing changes. They will do anything to avoid conflict so they'll promise you the world OR spitefully punish you for (or accuse you of) not being sensitive to THEIR issues. Your issues to them are non-existant because they build more walls of issues so they will never be emotionally available to tend to YOUR needs or requests. And your requests and needs are NEVER that--they're demands from a nagging bitch because you're at your wits end and are desperate to be heard and hate how far it's gone and can this wreck be salvaged. And you grieve because you know it can't.

The promises are never ever fulfilled unless it's an occasional grand gesture which is somehow supposed to miraculously make up for years of wondering WTF exactly YOU did wrong and if you're distracted or lack the stamina (due to illness) or focus you don't see your self-esteem being steadily chipped away day by fucking day until you're sitting there crying so hard you feel like you've been physically beaten and are ASHAMED how you USED to be so independent, you USED to be so confident, you USED to never take shit from anyone and now you're being spoonfed it on a daily basis because you love him and believe in your promises and vows even if he never EVER believed in them or intended to keep them himself.

I hold no grudges against anyone who doesn't understand. You will never know unless you're in it. Your own entire family may be fooled, as is mine. I'm the villain. I'm told to make him happy, keep my mouth shut, I could lose the house. FUCK THE HOUSE! Not at the expense of my mind, my happiness, my well-being--everything that screams in me GET THE FUCK OUT. I can't even leave until I have enough resources to do it but I'm actively working on it. I used to not be able to imagine a life without him. Now, I can't imagine a life with him but without love. I'd rather a life without him with peace of mind, even if that means the only love in my life is mine for myself.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #22
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http://padontstandforpaloalto.wordpress.com/

This was cross posted in my thread on recovering from a passive aggressive relationship. Trust me if you have not read it already you'll break your neck nodding along to all the things women post when they've been around a PA.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:03 AM   #23
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Power imbalance in a relationship can be a grueling thing to be a part of, and it affects more than just the two involved, if they have children. I grew up watching my father treat my mother as nothing more than a glorified servant. She would sometimes beg him to love her. I hated HER for that. I didn’t know any better – to me, she was the weak one, and I despised that weakness. I’ve come to understand that she had some very difficult obstacles, not the least of which was no marketable skills and 5 children to raise. But when she did go back to work, and later to school, and later still to a job that paid her very well, she STILL couldn’t leave him – not for very long, anyway. They’ve been married and divorced – to each other – three times. That wasn’t a lot of fun to experience, growing up. The constant turmoil, upheaval, the refusal on both sides to just cut their losses and move on. I grew up believing that dependence on a man was a loathsome quality. That has both served me well and hindered me, as I have a very difficult time with expressing vulnerability and asking for help. But I still don’t understand what allows a person to subjugate him/herself to another. I’d rather starve than be dependent. I’d rather cry every night, alone, than spend one minute with someone who didn’t treat me well. I’m not pretending that I’m the picture of stellar emotional health – I have a bit too much of the “cut off my own nose to spite my face” in me, for starters. My two sisters are exactly the same way. My youngest brother is very like our father and, not surprisingly, married a woman who is just like good old mom. His kids get to watch the never-ending cycle of mom’s dependence and dad’s emotional cruelty.

I don’t know what held my mother back from just leaving him for good, after she gained a measurable degree of financial independence, and her children were grown up. He needed her, that was clear. But he didn’t respect her, and he didn’t love her, and that was also clear. I think that there was a part of her that thrived on the emotional chaos. I often wonder if this is also the case with women who stay with men who clearly do not love or value them. I think that my mother spent her entire life trying , in vain, to make her FATHER love her. She found an emotionally distant man who withheld love and affection in the same unhappy yet predictable pattern that she’d established with her father. Not only did she fail at that, she raised 5 children who respected her as little as her husband did. It is what we were taught, in myriad ways, both subtly and overtly.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:11 AM   #24
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http://padontstandforpaloalto.wordpress.com/

This was cross posted in my thread on recovering from a passive aggressive relationship. Trust me if you have not read it already you'll break your neck nodding along to all the things women post when they've been around a PA.
I was surprised to see that other thread in the lounge.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:25 AM   #25
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I will be honest and put forth what will likely be an unpopular theory. In this community, certainly some of the allowances made for males is due to good nature, but I think an equal amount is due to a simple desire to not be alone. The dating pool is shallow at best, and tends to become even more shallow as a woman's size increases. This coupled with most people's completely understandable desire to be in a relationship as opposed to being alone results in a tendency to provide a potential mate with a much wider margin for error, excuses for questionable behavior, chance after chance after chance, because if not *him*, then who? Who else is even out there?

I think the term "self-esteem" is thrown around a lot, sometimes carelessly, but that's not quite what I'm getting at here. I think a woman can have okay self-esteem but still want love enough to maybe allow iffy behavior on the off chance that it will resolve and everything will be okay. I mean, we're human, we want love, there's nothing wrong with that. People do all sorts of crazy shit for love, regardless of size. But in this particular "community", for lack of a better word, I do believe a lot of it boils down to a lack of potential partners. Oh, and this is not me judging from an ivory tower, btw. I've been there myself, providing the excuses and justifying the behavior and learned the hard way how short-sighted and harmful to myself it is. Like Dolce said in her post, I have some guidelines for myself now that I keep in mind, to ensure I don't go down that road again.

Anyway. To be honest, I really don't think this question is, at its root, one that is FA-specific, nor is it even male-specific. People have been putting up with bad behavior from and making excuses for potential mates since the dawn of - well, if not the dawn of time, certainly the dawn of dating (I can't be the only one picturing two cavepeople on an awkward first date at T.G.I.Friday's right now. "Ungh! Nice loincloth." "Thanks! Got at Target. Want onion blossom?"). In this particular context, I do think it is often related to the small number of available FAs out there, but you see it everywhere, in every spectrum of the dating world. The desire to be coupled is a very strong one.

People of all sizes have a responsibility to themselves to decide what is and isn't acceptable treatment, and to act accordingly. If we allow a guy to treat us shabbily more than once - or even once, in a lot of cases - it's on us as individuals. Never mind that ten women before you allowed him to do it. You can't control that, you can't control them or him; you can only control your own values and behavior. You can't blame it on vague "expectations" that FAs have, or on the community or this board or the internets. Whatever a person's expectations are of you, YOU are the person to fulfill or not fulfill them and set them straight. For those of us who do encounter guys who have expectations of our personalities and behavior based on our body shape/size, do you really want to spend a second of your time talking to him? About anything? To me, this is not a person who is in need of education, this is a person who is a fucking moron, regardless of their IQ. Nobody I *want* to know thinks that way.
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