Relationship expectations

Tara - posted on 04/23/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I was just thinking about how people go into relationships with certain expectations and how often those expectations go unfulfilled.
I was also thinking about how oftentimes it isn't a matter of one person being a dick or one person being a bitch etc. but often it is simply an incompatibility that has been forced and usually ends up bringing out the worst in both people.
For example, my ex and I used to fight like cats and dogs, a lot of yelling, slamming doors, and swearing at each other. This became the norm for our fights and it did nothing to further our relationship but we each viewed it as our "way of fighting". And while I knew it was wrong and not helpful, I expected it.
I have been in a different relationship for awhile now, we don't yell, we don't fight, we discuss things and we talk. We don't get angry and slam doors or call names etc. we just talk, state our opinions and how we feel and let the other respond, it seems so easy with Steve and I couldn't imagine my ex ever being this way. Different people bring out different qualities in the other.
I was also thinking about how a lot of people assume it's normal to scream and be screamed at, to throw things and have things thrown, to hit or be hit, to feel worthless or make another feel worthless, to threaten the end of their love or to be threatened. I think it's sad when I hear women talk about how their SO calls them names and intentionally hurts them whether it's emotionally or physically.
How many of you here have been in what is defined as an abusive relationship and how long did you stay and what prompted to you to finally leave? Do you have similar issues with your current partner or are things totally different?

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Sal - posted on 04/25/2011

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please read borning.....and my sons father was just the opposite, and that why i am currently married to someone else

Sal - posted on 04/25/2011

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my marriage is so borning by the standards of some people, no fights, no angst, no name calling, senible polite discussion, respect for each other as people and our opinions, shared finaces 50 50, each helping out the other because we want to spend free time together rather than watching the other do chores we could help with, we would make the worlds most boring reatily show.....and i love it, ,love love love it!!! not saying the we agree on everything, jusdt that it doens't discinergrate to s screaming match with name calling and hurtful comments...

Jenni - posted on 04/24/2011

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"distant, dark and "tortured." I had some sort of romantic idea about these type of guys. I assume this is common because so many women go ape shit over Edward from Twilight who, on paper, if he didn't have being a mythical creature as an excuse, is a real d-bag."



@Rebecca... luv it. Totally sums up my first ex. :/ I'm long over those type of guys now. I think I was sort of polar to being attracted to the same type of guy over and over though. I'd reject everything I hated in the last guy. I'd seek out a paradoxal bf/liason to my last.



I guess one thing they all did have in common is they were all utterly complicated, disingenuous, emotional train wrecks. I think I was uniformily attracted to drama. I'm so glad my relationship with my SO now is so simple and uncomplicated. He wears his heart on his sleave and there's no guess work involved or trying to figure him out. What you see is what you get with him. Even his friends tell me that. "You always know what Pete is thinking. He says everything that's on his mind." He is so loyal to the ones he cares about. Such a loving father. He devotes his entire life to Us (his family). Aside from sports. ;) He is so respectful and well-mannered. I love his parents; they are some of the most caring, selfless people I have ever met. Ok. I'll stop! Now i'm just rambling on about how kick ass my SO is. :P



I've lived so many different lives through the men I've dated. I've been so many different people. I was like Ramona from Scott Pilgrim... I finally took some time out between my last ex and current SO for myself to finally discover who *I* am.

Mrs. - posted on 04/23/2011

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What I wonder sometimes is why so many college bf's are the d-bag abusers? What's the deal with that?

I let one man treat me like my older brother did when I was young (pushing, hitting, telling me I'm a piece of shit, manipulating me). He was a real winner. When I was in my early twenties I was attracted to only one type of guy: distant, dark and "tortured." I had some sort of romantic idea about these type of guys. I assume this is common because so many women go ape shit over Edward from Twilight who, on paper, if he didn't have being a mythical creature as an excuse, is a real d-bag.

That led me to, who I like to call, Socio-Ex. At first, he was pretty charming, you know like most sociopaths are. Once he sucked me in, the shit show began. The constant cheating, lying, abusive sex, pushing me against a mirror, alienating me from my friends and family...you know the basic nightmare. After 5 years, I left. A new girl moved in right after me and many of "our" friends dumped me for him.

Years later, he was put in jail for selling kiddy porn. He stalked me for a couple years....and I actually got a bit worried when I received some suspicious emails after I had my kid. Scary guy.

After that happened, I still had this laser-beam like ability to find these dudes in a crowd. Still do to this day. Now I know these guys are okay as casual friends, but never, never as bf's.

But you know what is f'd? Some women (and men) never learn. They keep dating this same a-hole who brings them down. Maybe the demons on their back are just too heavy to see what is in front of them? I just don't know.

Jayce - posted on 04/23/2011

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I was in a relationship with a guy for two years. We yelled, screamed and fought A LOT. I even forgave him when he cheated on me, only to have him cheat once again. I put up with it until one night he hit me. Open handed slap across the face. That was the end of that.

I was really good friends with another guy. I'm not even sure how I would define our relationship but we spent a lot of time together and with his family. Then his oldest brother committed sucide and he totally changed. At first I was understanding and comforting, trying to be a good friend. But then it got creepy. He started talking about how we should get married, he bought me a ring and talked about buying a home. He called me at all hours just to make sure I was where I said I would be. He got really posessive and jealous and we weren't even offically anything. He was really creeping me out so I cut it off. Told him not to call me ever again. I felt really bad doing it because his brother had just died and his mom was always saying how good I was for him but I couldn't handle it anymore. Then he started calling my sister and asking her about me. She knew what ws going one and told him to quit calling her as well.

My hubby and I get along well. No screaming matches, no weird, creepy posessiveness. We did hit a slump for about a year where we just seemed to be on different wave lenghts; we just weren't connecting. But we discovered what the problem was and now we're reconnecting and things are like they were when we first met.

Sara - posted on 04/23/2011

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I had my fair share of toxic relationships before I met my husband. The had one boyfriend in college who treated me like dirt, and I let him. He moved away 6 months into our relationship and it was for the best. He has since apologized for the way he treated me, told me that I didn't deserve it. I guess we're both older now and can admit our past failures.

The other boyfriend I had in college, I would say it was an abusive relationship. We brought out the absolute worst in each other. We drank too much together, fought, had horrible fights in public...it was bad. That relationship only lasted a year.

After college, I met a man that I had a lot in common with, but we never emotionally connected. We were together for four years and I only remember him telling me that he loved me once, and it was after I asked him if he loved me and his reply was, in an aggrevated tone, "I wouldn't be with you if I didn't". We were together for four years. I know that I never loved him and leaving him was the best thing I have done for myself, hands down.

6 months after that I met my now husband. We had such a connection from the beginning. We just "got" eachother. I told my mother after our first date that I had just met the man that I was going to marry. We were together for less than a year when he proposed and we were married one year and one month after our first date. When it's right,k it's right. What's really funny is that we had actually met in college, he worked with one of my roommates and she actually wanted to set us up, but it never happened. I truly believe that I had to go through some things before I could truly appreciate the relationship we have, which is pretty healthy. I think I had to know what a truly horrible relationship was like to be able to accept my hubby's love. I know that's horrible, but for a long time I let men treat me bad, and if I had married one of them I would have been miserable. So, for me, I had to find myself and make peace with things about myself before I was really ready for a relationship. I'm just glad it actually happened for me, I couldn't imagine my life any other way now.

Charlie - posted on 04/23/2011

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There is nothing normal about constant yelling or swearing in a relationship , it saddens me so many people think this is ok or worse that it's healthy !
What kind of society have we become to believe we should be treated this way or can treat others in this manner ?
Yelling and swearing might not be physical but it IS abusive , emotionally abusive which in a lot of cases is a lot more damaging long term.

I grew up with two loving parents who fought ALL THE TIME , it wasnt a healthy thing for two girls to see their parents arguing like that , I am dissapointed they couldnt have the decency to do it away from us but I am also VERY happy they divorced because it wasnt a good enviroment and things were a lot happier between them ( who became good friends ) after the divorce , as much as I love them with all my heart THEIR relationship affected us deeply , this is why I will not put up with being talked to like that nor will I treat my fiance like that .

We have disagreements sure , all the time but we talk about it .....I can count on less than a hand the amount of times Ive yelled ....Usually we go into our room and talk about whatever is bothering us and if it is a simple disagreement we will do it in front of the kids because there is an important lesson in how to solve conflict when they see their parents disagree .

There is a lot to be said for a relationship where you can respectfully disagree .

I know who I have chosen , I knew who he was before we had kids and proposed and I have no expectations of trying to change him ..if I wanted something different I woulod have found a man who fitted that expectation in the first place .....Jamie is perfect in all his imperfection , I love him just the way he is .

Merry - posted on 04/23/2011

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I've only had one relationship, matt and I met as kids and dated starting at 16 years old. A month after we started dating he proposed to me. I accepted instantly but we didn't tell anyone as my family was actively trying to break us up, as was our church where we met. We really don't fight much, and when we do it's usually we get mad, matt gets quiet and won't talk to me, I stay silently mad until I wind down and then I begin coaxing him to talk. It always goes the same way, I end up apologizing first and working with him to talk to me, then he apologizes twice as hard when he finally opens up. I think it's his defense thing to shut down when he is mad or hurt. He has been seriously bullied in his childhood an also hurt alot by his older brother. So he just shuts down. And I'm quick to anger, and quick to get over it! So it works well, I just wait out my anger, and then I'm in a good state of mind to try to help him out. He has never called me names, he has only sworn while angry 6 times, and never a word describing me. even still it hurts me to hear him swear in anger, well anytime actually. And he thoroughly apologized each time it slipped. He has never hit me, or hit a wall, or destroyed anything in my direction when mad. My dad was a violent man and while he never laid a hand on me, he regularly hit or broke things in my area when mad at me and so matt understands how horrible it would be for him to show any form of violence when mad. He's great about that!

I dont think that anyone should be getting sworn at or dealing with a violent spouse even if it's not direct physical contact. I do not think that's ok. I know I personally wouldn't be able to say I loved someone who called me names, or yelled at me, or was any sort of violent around me.

Rosie - posted on 04/23/2011

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i've never been in a relationship where i was yelled at, or we constantly fought. i don't think i could be in a relationship like that. my ex fiance and i had a relationship that was weird. we didn't really fight, he just kinda told me what to do all the time. i figured out i wanted out probably 3 years into it, but he cried and played the suicide card on me. emotional blackmail. i took it for another 2 years almost 3 before i finally had enough and cheated on him to get out.

with my husband we dont' yell at each other, we talk. however, lately since we don't have an opportunity to see each other that much (he works nights) things get swept under the rug. i really want to be able to communicate more with him. it just doesn't seem possible sometimes. i see him for 30 minutes a day, and that time is spent talking about what happened with the kids while the other was gone.

Amber - posted on 04/23/2011

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I grew up with an abusive father. I don't put up with shit.

I've been cheated on, broke up with him the day I found out and never looked back. I've been yelled at, walked away and never looked back. I just can't do it because of my childhood.

I have been in a relationship that was tumultuous and overwhelming towards the end. It was a nearly 3 year relationship and the first 2 years were great. The last 8 months were miserable. He started bossing me around, running around with random people, and disappointing me.

At first, I thought it was stress and it only happened like once a month. The last 2 months it got overwhelming. I'd had enough and started pushing back. He didn't like that at all. When I went to get my things he tried to throw me down the stairs; I had a restraining order the next day the court house was open. I simply won't put up with it. In hindsight, I'm sad that I put up with it as long as I did, but it was occasional and I didn't see the links at first.

I've currently been with Chad for over 5 years. We've never once yelled or cursed at each other. If we get frustrated, we take a break from the conversation and come back to it later. Our relationship is based on respect for each other.

I have never felt more secure than I do with my life now. I feel loved, respected, and safe. I can't imagine ever being with a man who treated me badly....I simply love myself too much.

Jenni - posted on 04/23/2011

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Ok. Wow. I'm going to try not to write a novel on this one and avoid being overly wordy but I'll apologize in advance if I do.



My first serious relationship was from 15-19 yrs old with a guy 4 years older than me. I cannot even remember a single argument. I'm sure we had a few but nothing major and none stand out in my mind. Maybe that could have been an indicator of a more serious issue we had, we never connected emotionally. Emotionally, we were both very cut off... not just from each other but in general. Our relationship revolved around shopping for expensive clothes, hanging out in indie-style bars, theatre, concerts, music, fancy restaurants and literature. Nothing about feelings... I rarely ever remember telling each other that we loved one another. Our relationship was superfiscial and an emotional void. I wasn't in love with him... ever. It took me four years to realize I was in love with how we spent our time and who he protrayed himself to me as. It took living together to learn 'who' I had fallen in love with wasn't him. I realized most of the beautiful poetic dark letters he wrote me were plagerized from various songs and literature. He turned out to be a pretentiously elitist, douche bag who was cheating on me and stealing money from me to support his new addiction to cocaine. He hid his addiction from me all while giving me a hard time about smoking the occasional joint. Hypocrite. Anyways, we didn't argue, let alone fight. We were too emotionally detatched.



My second I met during a very dark time in my life. My entire family life was in turmoil. I was going to court to press charges against my father for abuse. My mother was having a nervous breakdown. My brother was diagnosed with skitzophrenia, bi-polar disorder. I was working in a strip club. I met my ex at the club. He was so unbelievably charismatic. He could talk the wallpaper off the walls. He was a com. studies student at our university. MVP of the university soccer team and basketball team. He worked two part time jobs on the side of university. I had cut off my family and had no where to live. I was scared to live on my own so I moved in with him. Over the next year he quit school and both his jobs and supplimented our income by manipulating his elderly parents to give most of their social security check to him. I was had to support both of us. I lost my brand new car and all the furniture I had just bought. I could no longer afford the payments. Before I lost my car I had let my insurance lapse and was driving without a license which of course I got caught for. On a few occasions and eventually lost my license due to not being able to pay for my fines. I quit school... I was too emotionally damaged due to my family issues to continue at that time.



I remember the first time he yelled at me and the first fight we had. I had never had anyone yell at me like that ever! It was scary, but he had such a way of talking me up again after and I felt so alone that I stayed. With each additional fight it developed into the 'norm' for us, for me. I never started the fights, I was terrified of them and walked on egg shells around him. It was an emotional rollarcoaster of being teared to pieces and then being rebuilt. I had never yelled at anyone in an argument. Never thrown anything or slammed a door. But he brought that out in me. He would never let up on me until I conceded. He would fight with me for hours until I saw it his way. I eventually just learned to agree with him from the get go. But even that attempt failed when he got smart on it and realized I was just agreeing with him to get out of the fight. I can't even being to count the number of very heated arguments we had. How much our neighbours complained. How many holes I put in walls. I recall one of our arguments ended in him pushing me full force down onto the couch. I went flying, he was 6'5 225 lbs and I was 5'2 115 lbs. The things he's said to me, the way he has torn me apart, the names he called me... most people couldn't imagine. One of the last major fights I remember, which was pretty much the final straw; I was in the darkest place I had ever been in my life and snapped after being needled and needled over and over again. I jumped on him and started punching the shit out of him. It did very little damage but it was that moment that made me realize; I cannot continue like this. This is not me. This is not who I am. I need to be me again. At the time I had been repairing my relationship with my mother after not speaking to her for 3 years and I moved back home. It was like a weight was lifted. I still seen him after I moved. Of course he was majorly bum kissing. It will never happen again, I'll treat you better this time and blah blah blah. But I wasn't having it... the last thing I wanted in the world was to go back to him... so we seen less and less of each other until I completely cut him out. I went back to school, got a job and continued my life where I had last left it before him. Although I was left with tons of scars; emotionally and financially. I had burned so many bridges when I was with him. Not blaming it entirely on him, a lot had to do with my family issues as well. So glad I got away from that deadbeat loser and I never got pregnant. Oh lord, I thank my stars that never happened.



On to my current SO. He is so sweet and so eager to please me. We've been together for 4 years now but I'm not going to deny we had our rough patches. Especially since we went from no kids to 3 kids 3 in under in 3 years. That caused stress on our relationship. We did have our share of fights when I was especially emotionally stressed. Like when I was adjusting to being a new mom after my son was born and struggling with bfing with my daughter. I yelled at him a lot during those times and of course... he yelled back. It is a nasty habit I picked up from my last relationship that I am currently working on. He tends to be more passive and detestes fighting. But we also talked, resolved and tried to get to the bottom of our issues. More often than not we realized our arguments stemmed from me being under an extreme amount of stress. I realized I was starting stupid arguments with him and blowing them way out of proportion. Seriously, I was. If he didn't put a dish away I was going off the deep end. I think a lot of it was hormonal too. As soon as I made the decision to switch to formula with my daughter the fighting stopped. Of course we still have arguments from time to time but I am far more respectful than I was under stress and influence of hormones. I don't recall the last 'yelling' match we had. We talk now. We've always connected well emotionally we always get where the other one is coming from. We understand each other. He is 4 years older than me but the things he believes, the way he views the world... reminds me of myself when i was 18 or 19. ;) I'm an old soul... what can I say. So i feel like his teacher and guider and I love that. For the first time I am in a relationship where I lean a little more to the dominant side and he is more the submissive type. So it kind of scared me to death when I found myself treating him to a degree the same way my ex treated me. That was my wake up call.



His relationship with his daughter's BM was pretty abusive. On her end. She fought with him constantly and threw things at him. It ended the day she got drunk and tried to hit him over the head with a beer bottle in his car at volleyball. He pushed her out of the car (door was open) to prevent her from hitting him. She fell on the ground... because she was hammered and made a huge scene. There happened to be an ambulance there and the paramedics rushed over and took her to the hospital. She said the whole time they were trying to get her to *admit* he abused her... she refused because she knew that wasn't true. His parents got involved after that and his dad gave him a very stern talk about getting rid of her. He agreed and asked her to leave his apartment. From what he tells me he put up with a lot from her and he also attributes that to being in a very vulnerable place. He had been battling chrones' disease and had almost died. He was very ill then and he felt in debted to her because she was there for him at the time.



So in conclusion. I *know* what's acceptable to me. I know yelling and anything more, isn't. But I think my emotional state determines if I put up with it or engage in it. I know that it isn't always what I 'expect' it's more what I'm willing to put up with. I have higher expectations and so does my SO for our relationship. We won't settle for yelling, name calling, throwing or any other 'abusive' type behaviours. When I was yelling a lot at him that was a very low point in our relationship. I had to get to the bottom of my issues and work past them. I had to improve because I didn't want to be my ex. I didn't want him to make me who I am today and my SO doesn't deserve to be treated that way.

[deleted account]

I was with my ex from 12-21. At first, he was really nice and we got along great. At 18 he got into a motorcycle accident. He was badly injured, his left foot was almost torn clean off. They reattached it, but for a while it was a very real possibility it would need to be removed. He was prescribed to pain killers. After that he started being an ass. I was very understanding because of what he was going through. Who wouldn't be though? Obviously anyone is going to go through emotional turmoil when their entire lifestyle is in jeopardy. I just kind of brushed it off.
As he healed, he only got worse. He started calling me names and hitting me. Still, i thought once he can walk again he'll come back. What I didn't realize was he was getting addicted to his pain medicine. I was also hanging on because of the whole. Through thick and thin bullshit my mother had drilled into my head. Since we had sex, if i leave him im going to burn in hell for eternity no matter what...
I stuck it out...for 2 years after he was better. His treatment only got worse, as did his addiction. What finally gave me the final push to leave, he cleaned out my bank account. Maxed out my credit cards. Stole a bunch of my stuff. Then when i confronted him. He beat the crap out of me and held a knife to my throat saying he would kill me if i ever went to the cops. My neighbors heard what he was yelling at me because the windows were open. They called the cops and he was arrested. I pressed charges. Hes been in jail since.
After that i didn't feel safe where i was. So i kind of ran away from my home town. Glad i did because i met Brad and got pregnant. No it wasn't an accident. We decided to move in together and have a baby the first month we knew each other. I never believed in love at first sight or that soul mate crap, but I actually experienced it.
Brad is his polar opposite. We argue, but healthy arguments. We don't bottle things up so we become explosive. We deal with our problems. I feel like this is a mature relationship. One based on respect, love and equality.

Mel - posted on 04/23/2011

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this is a really interested topic for me, because atm I am feeling like my husband and I, are two very differnet people and have so many different views which causes us to fight constantly and wnat to hurt each other to the max, even though we love each other. I will say though I have never been in an abusive relationship, but I feel like things are qutye bad between my husband and I, because of our different views. I (and the people I have always associated with including our mutual friends) believe that he should be supportive of me in every situation and that I come first, the the times iwth my dad , or friends or his family where he refuses to get involved because "it is not his fight" have deeply hurt me and caused me to become extremely resentful towards him abd bring up the same things on a daily basis that happened yrs ago because the hurt is still fresh. We also have diferent views on family, his family doesnt help me, ring me, speak to me, even over something that involves me if I answer the phone they ask to speak to him, and then they demand I bring my kids over because they havent seen them in a few weeks. I feel like saying my girls are here all day every day u can come over whenever u like but I am not coming there. My husband tells them, I get angry, and am hostile towards them because "mel likes peple being in her face all the time". I feel like he is twisting my words ecause I say several times I do not want someone in my face I want company even just once in the past 3 years since Ive been a mother would have been nice. Anyhow this brings out the worst in both of us, my husbands ends up with dangerously high blood pressure and I end up just emotionally wrecked, angry and insulting and hurting him the only ways I can.

So you bringing this topic up, really felt like I could relate to everyting your saying, the first bit anyhow, not about the abusive part. I suppoe when you in love , as hard as it may be, proving the relaionship isnt abusive you haveto get through it and try to accept and forget about your differents because sometomes people are so incompatible.

On the topic of yelling swearing throwing things etc, for alot of people this IS a normal relationship. And some people would be shocked by this. My husband and I have been there. We went through difficulties with the stress of a tube fed child, and we've been there through all of that including the physical fighting hitting and what not. This seems like a life time ago now. Especially with a child who is no longer an infant we would never put our hands on each other, not to mention we dont even think of doing it, because we are not under those same stress levels. The worst we would do is he might punch a door or wall, throw somthing at the ground, knock a picture down off the wall etc. (I can be a very hurtful nasty bitch). I dont consider this to be abnormal, I consider it to be something thathappens as a one off every 6-12 months (just the other day for us so its still fresh in my mind right now). But I think that everybody defines abusive differently, abd everybody has different kinds of relationships. Some people will just argue, or probably barely argue at all. I read an autobiography recently of a lady who is just like me, except about 10x worse and I found it amazing that some one could be that crazy btu then I realised, she is just a normal human being who is not perfect but does the best she cna. Anyhow I hope I havent gotten off track :)

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