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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:22 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
Posts: 1291
foronceinmylife,
Thank you very much for responding. I appreciate your input.

foronceinmylife wrote:
It is sad that most people, including myself, do not, and have not, had mature discussions with a potential partner or mate about sex, needs, sexual preferences and the like while dating. The result is disfunction and incompatibility.

You know what's interesting to me when I decided to try dating again is it is very different and very similar to when I was younger. Speaking from my own perspective, if a man came out rather soon in dating wanting to discuss sex, needs, etc, I'd be suspicious. And in fact, in online dating, I did have a man or two say something rather early about sex, needs.....before I really even knew them at all and found it very off-putting. One man that jumps to mind wanted to know right away how much I drank, which is rare, but I thought he showed his wounds rather quickly in getting to know someone brand new. That all said though, once in a relationship, I have always been more open than my partners to talk about needs, sex and preferences. I know now that for both my husbands, it was their immaturity that made it difficult for them to discuss sex outside the bedroom.

foronceinmylife wrote:
That's "a guy thing" -ignorance.

Yup agree completely.

foronceinmylife wrote:
When I was, and still do at times, scan a woman (as you all are calling it), I know in my heart that it is wrong. And I know when I cross the line. And so does this individual you refer to. We all do, as do you when and if you scan someone.

I think this can be true once someone brings awareness to their own behaviors. But I've observed behaviors that have become so automatic they aren't in the conscious awareness of the person engaging in them. I have a graduate student shadowing me right now and we were talking as I drove to another work location, then I realized I had gotten on the "track to home" and was automatically driving home. Had to turn around and correct course. :s: I think some of automated behaviors can be the same way until we become more conscious of what we are doing and correct it if need be.

With that in mind, he and I have had discussions and he said he thought he did this and other things because he wasn't as mature as me. :pe: I have wondered if I really want to be with someone who already knows they lack maturity. We are in our 50's and not 20 somethings anymore so actual age is no longer a good reason. Sometimes I don't know and don't want to make sudden, impulsive decisions and go into observation mode. Observe him and observe myself but I can't do that forever. He has some things to adjust and the truth is if he doesn't do those things, I will let go.

A thought I just had about really a much smaller issue but probably stemming from the same things. He cusses apparently most of the time. He toned that down a lot when we first started dating. I just don't cuss except when angry. :s: I have asked him to please stop doing it in front of me and he seems to be trying, but it seems such an automatic way for him to talk and it just honestly makes me uncomfortable. I can only make the request and can't force him to change even something like cussing. :pe: But I can adjust my own involvement, behavior.

foronceinmylife wrote:
My relationship with my wife allows me to say to her: "She's pretty", when an attractive woman is near and she has said to me: "He has pretty eyes", etc. All of us know that we don't stop noticing just because we vow to.

This partner used to ask me if I noticed other men and honestly I don't very often. Not like he and other men I've been with do. Occasionally I notice someone, man or woman, but I think noticing is different between men and women. I think I'm honestly more likely to notice other women and how they are dressed or their hair style I might like, than men. :s: But I think the point about stopping just because we say we do is good. My second husband, who is addicted, rarely looked at women when we were together, then we were separated and he openly stared at women, flirted with women and I was really surprised. I found it rude behavior and often the poor waitresses seemed uncomfortable with the attention. He said he just didn't do it in front of me because he knew I was noticing. I will no longer meet him in public because of this behavior that he feels no reason to stop.

foronceinmylife wrote:
Yes, it's hard to find, and it's nothing wrong with helping someone to grow. Just don't settle for less. Your radar is just detecting immaturity that says that he may not be ripe enough. You and you alone can and should determine if you are concerned or satisfied enough to proceed. But you are important to at least one person -yourself.

You know several people have mentioned not settling. In more than one way, this man is a good person. But he also has many areas of his life that are less than developed and it has always concerned me.

I really appreciate the validation and how you put that....my radar detecting immaturity and that he may not be ripe enough. We'll see. In the past I have stayed too long in relationships and I don't want to do that again. This has brought up a lot of thinking for me. :sat:

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"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:46 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
This is such an interesting discussion and I got into it again with my husband since he is having such a hard time really acknowledging that the way he looks at "beautiful" women is compulsive and part of his addiction.

I think there is a great deal of choice in what we do when we notice someone attractive to us. Let me give my example:

I live near the ocean in a resort community. Let's say I go to the beach to watch a men's beach volleyball tournament--I'm in my "matron" years, but we can imagine this as either fit men in their 20's or fit men in their 50's. In any event, as I sit and watch the men, I can choose to watch them as:

1) Athletes with physical talents - note their quickness, their speed, their agility, their enthusiasm
2) Athletes with emotional talents - are they gung ho, quiet and concentrated, cheerleaders, focused?
3) Young men who could be my sons - Am I proud of them and their accomplishments? Do I think it is cute when the young women flirt with them?
4) Young sexy men who stimulate me - I could linger over their bodies, I could compare them to each other, I could stare, I could fantasize (yes, even at my age)

Now, I would be aware of the choice or choices I made in the way I watched these men. Also, not being compulsive, I could stop watching them without anxiety. I would not obsess.

Here's what I do know. When I married, I thought my commitment included NOT choosing to linger long, or fantasize for long, or to stare for long at other men. I do know that if I were to do so, when I came home to my husband or if I was with my husband, in some way, I would not treat him well either out of guilt or a desire to keep it a secret. I would be distant, or angry, or find fault. I'd find a way to justify my choice in order to live with myself. And, I would probably "pretend" to not be aware of what I was doing.

I believe as adults, men or women, we do have choices in the way we notice and view other people. I believe we should set boundaries around these choices. I also know that any time I could decide my values have changed about how I want to look at men.

dnell


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3829
Location: UK
Hi all
I believe that this thread is one of the best I have read here on RN
thanks to all contributors
to me it highlights that very narrow boundary between scanning and noticing, albeit narrow in perspective it can be miles apart in the belief of the individual
When I was acting out I scanned but in my own head I was doing nothing wrong, nothing that every other bloke did
how skewed was that thinking
Scanning was the last of my pillars of addiction and the hardest to rid myself of
To my ex wife I expect that scanning was the easiest of my cheats to come to terms with
however it still comes between us
example
we recently were on holiday and I was driving
I saw at a distance of say 50 yards a woman fully clothed and with her back to me pulling off her sweater
question from my ex
Quote:
why did you look at her did you expect to see her topless


my immediate response was that she thought I was scanning
the reality is that we were both wrong

she because I no longer scan
and me for expecting her to simply take my word for that fact

so IMO reading this whole thread should become an integral part of the lessons herein on both sides as we all can benefit from its content

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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