Relationships: Confidence, Power Plays, and Other Crazy Shit

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by D_Fiona_Farvel, Jan 7, 2012.

?

How far do you go?

  1. Read text messages?

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. Monitor email and other communications - including online life (Facebook, LPSG, gaming sites, etc.)?

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. Monitor personal activity? (errands, work schedule, recreational activity)

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  4. Try to breakup friendships/relationship that threatened you?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Demand equal recognition with parents or other primary figures?

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  6. Attempt to insert yourself in every part of the person’s life? (No more “I”, only “We”)

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  7. Yes. To all of it.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Other (Please explain)

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    A friend, who is an otherwise self-confident woman, has begun to lose herself in a relationship – meaning, her sense of self and normal behavior. This loss of confidence has lead to controlling behavior, doubt about how much the other person values her presence, acting with jealousy (reading his email, checking messages – generally not minding own business), and resenting the mate’s personal, intimate (friendship/family, not sexual) contact with others.

    In light of this acquaintance’s relationship-motivated change in personality, a male friend (single, known as A), female friend (attached, known as B) and I (attached, known as C) discussed our responses to a partner’s decisions and personal life, whether committed, or marriage. (We all agreed FWB/FB/HBs do not really warrant much care because a hump buddy generally does not meet family/friends, and usually manages to steer clear of relationship related drama.)


    A stated he was not jealous and never concerned himself with the personal life of his most recent (8 years) ex-girlfriend because he was confident enough to believe he was everything she wanted as a good man. We noted, however, she did meet her new man at the end the relationship and after, he fought her, and won, primary joint custody. So, in a sense, he controls her life through the child.

    A had not thought about it that way, but agreed he did have her by the short hairs, but only once used the power to make her life difficult.


    B stated something along the lines that if at home and the BF receives a text message/call while the phone is near her, she will pick it up and read it/answer for him. But, they have been together so long, they trust each other and she does not give a shit about monitoring any of his activities. However, B has actively worked to distance the boyfriend from his mother due to her influence over her son. She said it was not jealousy, but he had to choose between being his mother’s son or his soon-to-be wife’s husband.

    A said this was an act of jealousy. I said it was not jealousy, but the partner, or anyone on the outside, should never mess with someone’s family relationships and it was a control/self-esteem issue. She wanted to be #1 and was willing to destroy that relationship for proof of her worth to him. B said she new it was wrong, but was not entering her marriage with three people jockeying for power.


    C (myself): I stated I am laid-back like A, however, when engaged spent the last year of the relationship ripping my ex a new one, suggesting he needed to “nut up” in response to his family’s interference in our lives. I wanted his relationship to stay strong, but at the same time did not appreciate dictates about religion, children, my role as a daughter-in-law, etc., as I felt they threatened my autonomy. A stated, much like B, I was subtly forcing the ex to prove I was an equal with his family, which, in retrospect, is true :)08:) and must say that experience broke me of the habit. I mean, did it ever.


    So, in a relationship, how far do you go?


    Was it a one-relationship thing? A pattern in every relationship? Or did you just finally learn (someone told you) to just chill the fuck out and not attempt to control or tie every damn thing to your confidence?
     
    #1 D_Fiona_Farvel, Jan 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  2. Thirdlegproduction

    Thirdlegproduction Formerly WhiteMonst3r
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    I do not like the manipulation game the powerplay but it seems almost inevitable that one has to be on top in the relationship.

    I react accordingly, I have read texts and other online stuff but have kept it to myself.

    I react very badly to authority and I will rebel as soon as I smell someone opposing their will or beliefs on me.

    I'm looking for equal grounds not someone above or under me.
     
  3. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    I've only been in one relationship. My current relationship. It the beginng we had a very good foundation based on trust. But one day she wanted me to get on her to computer to email a file to her phone.... Or something similar, I can't remember. Anyway, she gave me her Username and password and I went to do my task.

    After doing what she asked me to do, I started to look into her old emails. And I found out some things she used to do before she met me. Now not going to say those things were bad, but they do certainly do have a stigma in modern society. The most disturbing thing was what she did, but that she never told me about it.... And outright lied about it when I brought it up.....

    This has been quite an obsticle to get over for the past couple years. Because she uses the same password and username for everything I have to constantly fight to try not to dig in her past.... But she can never remember all the "bad things" that happened to her or what she has done when I try to ask her up front..... But i kept doing it for a while. That drives me crazy.... Well it used to. I just accept the fact that she wants to block that part of her out.... And I have to respect her. So I asked her to change her Passwords.

    I don't have that urge anymore because our communication is better. I admit to doing this, but I wasn't proud of it.
     
  4. erratic

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    Whenever one of my exes did any of the options in the poll, I brought out the big guns. With the exception of demanding equal recognition, they are all poisonous to solid, trusting relationships. I only hedge about equal recognition because of the word "demand." Sometimes partners lose sight of the balance the relationship needs, so that kind of a demand can be healthy, under the right circumstances.

    The rest of it reeks of jealousy and a lack of trust - let alone a lack of respect. I laid that out in plain language whenever it happened, with the coda: "If this continues I'll have to re-evaluate the strength of our relationship." If it happened again, the coda changed to "If this continues I'll have to re-evaluate whether we should be together." At that point, I usually got dumped. Afterward, they inevitably told me that they made a big mistake and should have listened to me.

    Unsurprisingly, the relationships in which those sorts of behaviours did not occur lasted longest, remained happiest, and we are still friends.
     
  5. D_Tam_Ponds

    D_Tam_Ponds Account Disabled

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    Yeah, these are the tools of distrust in a relationship. I can admit to going to a couple of those extremes in one relationship. But in reality, when I look back, the relationship was already dead in the water by the time I felt I had to do that stuff. And I wouldn't do it again. I guess with age comes wisdom.
     
  6. D_Chesty_Pecjiggle

    D_Chesty_Pecjiggle Account Disabled

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    I voted other because it's None of the above.

    I've never been in a relationship with anyone whom I thought it was necessary to control or monitor.
     
  7. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    :) Your Zen is a joy to behold. I definitely had a temper and had to earn my own Zen stripes.

    The friend in question has never had a good, long-term relationship, but this is the first time it seems desperate - like she can't quit this asshole (yeah, I don't like him or necessarily her when she's with him). I think where many might have a moment or one-off relationship where the irrational pops in, like Galaxus, myself, and Ms. Lily described, but maybe some people are just, for one reason or another, hardwired for it and require a bit of extra care, if reasonable, to assure them while letting them know the behavior is unacceptable.

    Jealousy driven by low self-esteem can be particularly destructive, but would the partner (if a good one) and loved ones (friends/family) being doing the individual a disservice if we just said "quit it," when there's so much emotion and self tied in?


    Indeed, age and experience tend to bear the fruit of wisdom and perspective.
    My experience was one of those early relationships where I look back and think, "wow, that was a horrible combination of immaturity and shrewishness." :tongue: But there's no shame because those are the moments where one grows and takes the benefit of that learnedness to the next relationship.

    Thank you for the input.

    I should have included no or similar as an option, but it was like 2 AM, I have poll creation issues, and we had just finished discussing her, so I left "other" and went to bed. Well, OK, I watched Law and Order, but from bed and without my laptop. :)
     
    #7 D_Fiona_Farvel, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  8. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    I don't do any of that stuff, but if I had a different partner it might drive me to do those irrational things. Well it's irrational if the person has not given you any reason to suspect foul play. But then again there are paranoid people out there who think if their man goes to Walgreen's to get some milk and takes too long he must be banging other women. That's bizarre to me to even think like that about your man, so I can't relate to that mindset in general but there are a lot of women/men who are like that.

    My man has never given me a reason to be suspicious of what he does on his phone, his facebook or his email or in his free time (what little he even has) so I don't have to treat him as if he does make me worry.

    There are a few possible reasons someone could begin to get controlling like that. It could be entirely coming from her paranoia or from his behavior. Or a little of both. Some relationships are so toxic it is difficult to know which comes first.
     
  9. catman963

    catman963 New Member

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    I voted "other" for this. I do or have done a little bit of most of the options though, but only relativley rarely.

    One thing that I often do is answer his phone, but thats kind of an "I need to" situation. There are family matters and I should also note that I generally have limited permissions to do so. I don't abuse that or use my status in the relationship that way. So for your purposes I chose "other".
     
  10. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Catman,

    I do not think answering the phone with permission counts. Forcing a partner to answer the phone and conduct calls in your presence would, though. :09:

    When dabbling in the other options did you feel there was, as MR described, a reason to do so?



    MR,

    Intersting point about being given a reason. When considering some might be looking for confirmation of something suspected, maybe there's a spectrum to it, with confirming behavior on one end and routine irrationality (suspecting a spouse each time s/he heads out alone, speaks to another person in a friendly/flirtatious manner, seriously invading privacy) on the other.

    Personally, I am not in a closed relationship and can't say I ever cared to check previous partners or the BF's Facebook (I'm not a member, but he is), texts, cell, email, PMs here, etc., however, should I ever, I would still not feel I had the right to do so.

    Is there a downside to a lack of guile? Could a bit of wariness be a good thing?
     
    #10 D_Fiona_Farvel, Jan 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  11. Drifterwood

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    The problem for me, was that it took me so many years to realise just how manipulative other people can be to get what they want. I am still very much go with the flow, but I now have a little alarm in my head.

    Perhaps I should invest in one for my cock as well. :biggrin1:
     
  12. DavidXL

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    If you're doing really any of those things (except for demanding equal recognition with parents/primary figures, which you really have to do), there is almost certainly no long term future for that relationship (at least no long term happy future). If that's how she's looking at things, she's setting herself up for a whole lot of angst and heartache until the relationship falls apart.

    The relationship has to flow a lot smoother than that or else it just isn't meant to be. And aren't long term relationships supposed to bring happiness not unhappiness?
     
  13. erratic

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    :) I'm really just astonishingly impatient.

    I hear you that it's natural to be jealous, and I would be lying if I said I never feel jealous; I just can't tolerate relationships that don't have trust. Hence my impatience.
     
  14. Thirdlegproduction

    Thirdlegproduction Formerly WhiteMonst3r
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    I don't really think there's anything wrong with wanting to know...

    My grandfather had many sayings, one of his was "Trust is good, knowing is better."

    This referred to something bad my mom had done as a child lying to do some dumb shit and he caught her before she got into trouble but the same is applied to any relationship.

    Now i don't condone the abuse of spying but I do think there is some merit in getting your facts straight.
     
  15. overninept5

    overninept5 New Member

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    if i have to sneak, spy etc, i do not need to be in that relastionship.
     
  16. Thirdlegproduction

    Thirdlegproduction Formerly WhiteMonst3r
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    What about as a parent, or business partner who acts suspiciously.

    I'm not saying be big brother, but don't close off your eyes either as we all have our skeletons in the closet.
     
  17. D_Sal_Manilla

    D_Sal_Manilla Account Disabled

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    if i suspect something, I check things out. if i incriminating evidence then I confront.

    if it gets too out of hand than i just break up with the person.
     
  18. catman963

    catman963 New Member

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    Mostly its innocent enough. For example "Monitoring activity" for me is more like checking in- okay you were only going to the store why were you gone 5 hrs and didn't call. We do live in a really bad area, somebody was even murdered on our front steps and not to mention family or health issues.

    Other stuff, to be blunt, curiosity just gets the better of me. Its not really a control, trust or "I have to be your everything" kind of way. I just get a little nosy.

    I do feel though, that if I don't push or question just a tiny little bit I will be left out of the loop. Nobody tells me anything unless I eavesdrop or push a bit. Another innocent example- Oh, your sister's comming up from VA, when? She should be here today. What, why didn't you say anything? I thought I did last week. Um...no you didn't. (then proced to discuss how his (epileptic absence] seizures have been)

    I see it as mostly normal relationship stuff.
     
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