Many of us have struggled with our romantic relationships.
This is her story:
I've been obsessing for almost a year. I'm at war with myself - and society - for my feelings.
I've been told that I'm insecure; jealous in romantic relationships - a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm seen as extreme, obsessed with myself, as "the problem," and so my thoughts, feelings and behaviors are dismissed. Immediately. This terrifies me - makes me ashamed to utter these words.
I know nobody is going to see my side, nobody will agree, nobody will allow me the dignity of my own thoughts and feelings. I'm used to being wrong.
I have reasons, rational ones, for the way I feel, I think, I act. I am fueled by analysis, by relentless searching for the root. Everything has a reason.
Emotions have reasons. Feelings are nothing more than a response to certain thoughts. The heart, feelings, and the mind are all very different.
How can I be so wrong?
How can it be wrong to want the love of my life not to see other women without their clothes? Nudity is a display of utmost trust - seeing someone naked is a display of acceptance. How is it wrong to want to be the only person he accepts in this way? How is it wrong to believe that bodies are sacred; to be shared with someone you love?
Why is it wrong to want to be only woman he's attracted to; the only woman he desires, the only woman he wants to see without her clothes on?
It isn't as if this is a new relationship - we've been together for a year and a half, two in December. It's short in the scope of life, but not a bad start.
At an event a few nights ago, the opening act before the film was a strip show. My boyfriend was nervous and fidgety, twiddling his fingers. I didn't have to ask him not to look at the bodies on the stage. His mom, who we were with, noticed his anxiety, and asked if he was tired or if he wasn't allowed to see other women.
He responded that he was simply tired.
I'm not sure if that was the truth - I've never asked him to avoid seeing other women naked, but I don't think he thinks he has an option.
That he felt the need to respond with a lie is telling.
No, I don't like it when he looks at anyone but me naked, topless, or doing anything vaguely sexual. Wanting anyone else in any sexual, sensual, romantic, or physical way is unacceptable to me - it hurts me.
I do not share. Neither does he. I don't feel anything for anyone but him. How can it be wrong for me to want the same?
How is it wrong to believe that bodies are sacred, not to be on display. Sex sells because it is labelled taboo, racy, naughty, dirty. There's nothing taboo, racy, naughty, or dirty about our bodies. They're ours - there's no reason whatsoever to treat them as anything less than sacred.
He's told me that no man looks at a woman if he isn't attracted to her. I've seen him check other women out before. Breaking his nose felt appropriate, and if I've had less self-control, I'd have done so without hesitation.
I want to be his everything - how is that wrong? He's mine. My love, my confidant, my best friend. Nobody else holds any weight for me.
I don't own him, he isn't my property. I know this. I don't want a robo-boyfriend, perfectly tailored to my every desire. I do want us to feel the same way about the big things. Is this really so wrong?
This has nothing to do with being female. It's an insulting argument - discrediting me based upon my gender isn't right. Neither is giving men a free pass because society believes that men don't want to be monogamous. The accepted belief that men will (or want to) fuck anything that moves is just as insulting to men.
I fought my ass off not to start sobbing in the theater. I told myself that I'm wrong for feeling this way, and I broke down. Silent tears fell. I spent the rest of the night beating myself bloody for my reaction.
I've been obsessing about this for almost a year - nearly non-stop since the "show" the other night.
I beat myself up because I do not want this relationship to fall apart, even though I know that beating myself up will make us crumble.
I've always fought to break the rules, to shatter expectations, to give baseless beliefs a swift kick in the face.
Why do I value your opinions over my own? I'm not wrong. Why do I feel like I can't possibly be right?