Well, I have to say that there are some very sharp and insightful folks in this forum! My partner and I have read your replies and we find things on both sides that fit like a glove, although my partner feels strongly that I have not given the full story. I will do that now in the process of addressing the points you all have brought up. Sorry – this might be long, but I sincerely appreciate your input!
GQjock: I tried the direct approach and it didn't work the first time so I hammered it a few more times but still no dice. He cheated on his last lover so I think he feels that Karma dictates that I'll cheat on him.
meninlove: Prior to a lot of our problems we used to be "we" and "us" all the time and along about year 9 (we have been together 15 years) I found that I was losing my own identity and began having self esteem issues. Around year 11 I began to try and foster my own individuality again by returning to the things I used to love doing. I also began making a few friends. They started out as mutual friends but when I started getting closer than acquaintances to any of them my partner then began disliking them and pressed them out of my life.
GuiltyGear: My partner does indeed feel like a second class citizen and feels excluded from my life. We tried couples counseling for a while (I set it up) and in spite of him insisting on appointment times that prevented me from going to the gym we went. However, and this is from my point of view, when the counselor started to hint toward a lot of the problem being on his side, he suddenly didn’t think it was worth pursuing anymore. Since it was messing with my gym time; that was fine with me! As I mentioned to meninlove, my partner pressed all my gay friends out of my life so I decided that I would cultivate straight friends; where there could be no question of fidelity. One of them, Cliff, is now my best friend (and training partner) and, no surprise, my partner hates him with a passion! Because of this, the feeling is now mutual between them. I used to train with my partner and eventually told him that I wouldn’t train with him anymore but would train with Cliff who was more advanced. Yeah, that was a big blow to my partner and it hurt him deeply. Yes, Cliff is more advances than I was but the real reason I made the switch was because he was ruining my training sessions with bickering, whining, not paying attention to training, making sexual comments about me (to me), pouting and scoping out every guy in the gym.
Mickeytopogigio: We have been to the ultimatum place frequently on both sides. I ignore his because I know they’re not sincere. On several occasions I have been mad enough to tell him we’re through but then he’ll be sweet to me and I’ll mellow back out. I have a short memory for crap and can let things go easily but he cannot – the same garbage keeps coming up fight after fight. As I said to GuiltyGear, training with him was miserable. Now he goes in the morning while I continue to go in the evening – he says that he can’t bear to see me train with Cliff “following him around like a bitch in heat.” As far as being on RealJock, I just joined so it’s probably too early to tell, but I can tell you it has already come up in the massive fight we just had – this in spite of the fact that I have shared everything I’ve done here with him!
Crimthann: My partner would be happy (forgive the expression) “stuck up my ass 24-7” but it drives me nuts. We reached a point where we essentially had one mutual friend – sort of. My partner’s best friend is our “mutual” friend. Arriving at this point I complained about it and how I hated not having an array of friends. He said to do something about it. I did, but he didn’t like the result.
ActiveAndFit: Yes, I do neglect time with my partner. It has become a vicious circle: During our time together he is nasty with me for training and being with my friends and so I try to spend less time with him.
RedVespa: He is a control freak, no doubt. But he’s got a lot of positive qualities too. The mother of a Russian friend of mine once told me after her third or fourth husband in her heavy Russian accent “Michael, don’t ever remarry… you only trade one sack of shit for another.” I already know what’s in this sack and if I can figure out how to deal with it I’d be happy. We’ve had a lot of good time together.
MuchMoreThanMuscle: Our couple’s therapy was a bit of a disaster as I mentioned above. It was the option most recommended by my family and who knows it might bear reconsideration.
Buckwheet: Often very tempting… We once had a yelling match in the driveway one morning while I was late for work. He stood behind my truck and yelled that I’d have to run him over to leave, that he wasn’t done yet. OOOH I was VERY close to doing just that. My truck is lifted quite a bit so, I reasoned, it would just knock him over and I could easily sail right over the top of him and go to work… after enjoying that video in my head, I got out of the truck calmly and let him finish yelling.
Libriarian: I think you are right… he is the youngest of five and knows how to get his way. Consequently, when he tries one of his “washing machine programs” and I recognize it as such I do not give in. Unfortunately, this feed back has NOT made him cease this behavior but has made things worse. You’d win the 10$ - I know that at this point he doesn’t want out of the relationship but I don’t yet either because I think it’s still salvageable.
KissingPro: If this relationship was less than 2 years old then I WOULD WALK rather than put up with this shit. I have encouraged him to go make friends but he says he is happy with the single one he has and that he wants more time with me.
Finally, he has in his mind that Cliff is my “boyfriend” and, depending on the fight some of my other friends get thrown into this category too. Nothing I say can change his mind; he knows what’s going on in my mind and I am just deceiving myself. I can say that Cliff is probably one of the best friends I’ve ever had and I do love him, but not in a sexual way. My partner hates my music, my truck, the Southeast Texas vernacular I occasionally use, my rifle, my hunting, my cell phone, my friends, and damn near every thing I do is either wrong or could be done better. On his end, I’m distant, spend no time with him, exclude him from my life, and am generally an asshole.
Is this fixable? The longer it goes on the less I think so. Your suggestions have been great and I sincerely thank you!