The Internet has created so many wonderful things for us, and it’s also created some nightmares for us women.
Our men can not only look at porn with the click of a mouse, they can also “social network” with women all over the world on all kinds of sites – even legit ones like myspace.
So what are we to do?
The truth is – this has ALWAYS been a problem.
Men who have “problems committing to one women” have always been able to flirt with other women when we’re not around, look at pictures of naked women and pornography in magazines, and contact women all over the world through personal ads and even phone lines.
The Internet may be relatively new, but the core problem and men’s creativity in doing what they feel compelled to do hasn’t changed.
Here’s a letter from “Confused,” whose boyfriend is “perfect” except for one thing – he collects women on myspace. Even if this isn’t happening to you – I’ll bet it’s happening to a friend of yours, so let me know what you think and feel about all this:
I have been using your tips before I met my current boyfriend and I’ve continued applying all your tools ever since we met, and let me tell you it has worked amazingly well. So well, that he asked me to move in with him after 8 months of dating! I agreed to move in with him, because we had a long commute to see each other and I had just sold my home.
Rori, things are getting better each day (your tools really do work!). However, I feel confused about something. Now that I am living with him, l learned he likes to flirt with girls online, he was using myspace originally and when I told him it really bothered me that he had that account he took it off.
A few months later I learned he had opened a new myspace account without telling me. I confronted him again about this. I got really upset with him. His reaction was surprising: he cried and told me he did not want to lose me that I meant the world to him. He then said that he was using that account to contact friends, and when he contacted girls it was just to flirt, because it boosts his self esteem. He says “some guys go out there and cheat, I flirt online as an outlet”. Two days later, he told me he closed the account.
Rori, as I have said before I have been applying all your tools before and during my relationship, and even though things are moving along just fine, I can’t seem to ignore the fact that my boyfriend contacts other women and exchanges pictures with them. It bothers me tremendously!!!! I have confronted him about this and he knows it bothers me. I told him that as long as he draws the line with these women it’s ok with me.
He is a guy in the end, so I guess guys need that outlet; but I feel like it is somehow going to affect my relationship. I know he loves me, but wouldn’t his habit affect my relationship? I believe that it would. Because while he is with me, he could be fantasizing about these other women. So he is with me physically, but is thinking/fantasizing about these other women which will stop our relationship from growing. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you for everything! Confused…”
Before I could respond, “Confused” wrote me again:
“Thank you for responding Rori.
I honestly think my boyfriend has a low self-esteem. I don’t know, maybe I am just justifying his actions. When I confronted him about how much this bothered me I made it clear that if he wants to meet/date other women to please let me know. I don’t want to waste my time with someone who is not serious about me, but at the same time I don’t want to be jumping from relationship to relationship. I want to make this work, but I can’t ignore how bad his habit makes me feel.
Thank you again for responding. I will look for your response on your new blog, and appreciate your advice. Still Confused”
***There’s a lot to this, and I want to really talk about this whole subject a lot in this blog ( I hope you’ll join in the discussion and let me know your experiences and how you feel about all this, too).
Let’s start, in this post – with the thing that most stood out for me, Confused’s statement: “He is a guy in the end, so I guess guys need that outlet…”
This is not true. Guys who CHOOSE to be in committed relationships do not “need” anything like this. Guys who do NOT choose to be in committed relationships are entitled to follow their impulses however they want – they’re entitled to take advantage of every possible way to contact women – but a man in a committed relationship has made a CHOICE.
He either gets YOU, or he gets to wallow in the world of women.
This, to me, is a bottom line, basic Boundary RULE, and you should not accept it, period, unless it FEELS Okay to you. (Believe it or not, there are many women out there who say they wouldn’t mind, and I’ve met and talked to several who say they’re actually okay with sharing their men in this way. This is what they say, however, and how they really feel might be something else entirely.)
There is one small, subtle thing, here, for us to talk about.
If I say it’s NOT okay for a man to actually make contact with other women (except for work, of course, and that’s a whole other issue we’ll discuss) – and I mean here reaching out to other women, either in real life or online, whether he calls them “friends” or not - then what about PICTURES of women?
Is looking at pictures of women and pornography online the same thing as contacting them, gathering them as friends on myspace, etc.?
And – I’m going to say NO. It’s not the same thing. A picture is one thing - touching, and voice, email, text, and online contact are completely another.
You may differ with me on this (so let me know your opinion) – and I’ve worked with several clients to sort this out. (One woman has worked so brilliantly, and taken herself so far, that I’ll refer you to her blog when she’s got it up and running – you’ll want to talk to her if this is a problem for you.)
But let’s just say this – it all boils down to how YOU feel. If what your man is doing (and doing it in front of you is way better than doing it behind your back) bothers you, makes you feel bad in ANY way – we’re going to have to figure out how to help you stand by yourself – even if it means walking away from the man.
My Tools work – Confused is experiencing how well they work – and now, we need to talk about what KIND of man you’re attracting (since you’re now attracting so many men…) and what to do if you’ve attracted a man you like who’s not exactly “perfect…”
Next posts: Standing up for yourself, how to talk to him about this kind of thing to actually give you the best chance of making a change, Boundaries, how to know when to leave…