Can't fully grasp the friends-with-benefits-situation my boyfriend had after we ended things (we got back together)

kya

New Here
Hi. I just joined this forum. For context: I was sexually assaulted as a child and my ex from a 2-year relationship last 2020 once made me feel he only objectified me as he also replaced me with the girl he told me not to worry about 2 weeks after our breakup.

I'm in a very loving and healthy relationship with this man for almost 2 months now, and before we made it official, we dated for 5 months. However, during those 5 months, I got diagnosed with PTSD after 4 years of suffering with symptoms and it kinda ate me up and messed with my then social skills, so we ended up things and settled as friends. I also wanted to explore myself that time especially my sexuality and told him about it as well -he was genuinely supportive, but of course hurt. I'd also like to note that we've never had sexual intercourse since day one and until now.

After 2-3 weeks, he became friends with this girl he was always with because of their org, and ended up being friends with benefits (FWB) and always had sex in his place. We were really close friends that time so I knew about the story as he also knew about the girl I was interested with back then. He told me because he was frustrated when he found out the girl only cooled of with her boyfriend and he felt like he was an instrument of cheating.

Back to the main point, 3 weeks after they stopped being FWB, I got back with him also after few sessions of therapy and self-work (during the 2 months of being friends) despite knowing that because I really love him and can't let him go because we really jive so well and I can see my future with him. My problem now is that I'm still bothered about the FWB thing yet I understand that people can just really have casual sex and not develop romantic feelings. It sometimes make me feel like how I felt back in 2020 -objectified, and easy to replace. It has gotten to the point that scenes of them f*cking kept on replaying in my imagination, I can't even masturbate well because of those flashes in my mind and have to completely divert my attention to another thing.

I just don't know how to deal with this, though it's not as bad as the first month being with him. I can't ask my therapist about this because I feel anxious that she knows my identity. I don't know what to do, any advices please? : <
 

Friday

Moderator
I just don't know how to deal with this, though it's not as bad as the first month being with him. I can't ask my therapist about this because I feel anxious that she knows my identity. I don't know what to do, any advices please?
Emotions don’t logic so hot… that’s why we have minds 😎

Hearts feel. Minds think. Either trying to do the job of the other usually ends in disaster.

***

So every time I have an emotional response that is out of line with my morals, or for the situation at hand, or is not commensurate to the provocation? Whether it’s a PTSD driven overreaction (triggers & stressors & other oh so fun >.< effects of trauma), or a normal life thing? I jerk my own leash pretty darn hard. And then break the logic down Barney Style.

The most difficult times I have are when there’s crossover from both PTSD & Normal Life.

For example? I’m not jealous by nature, but I AM territorial as f*ck. So someone having the basic human RIGHT (my own morality) to see whomever & do whatever, when we’re not together? Can very easily conflict with my territoriality (mine) OR can crossover into PTSD-land and hit up my trust issues, or lessons learned in trauma, or cognitive distortions/core beliefs, etc.

So I reality check myself.

Each. And. Every. Time.

Whether it’s a normal life thing, and I’m “just” going against everything I believe in; or also needing to do some pretty hefty symptom management? Every time. Every flicker of emotion, or intrusive thought, or inappropriate behavior. Pull myself up short, until it becomes automatic, instead of manual.
 

coraxxx

Policy Enforcement
Yes, also there is the distinction with between feeling and doing. Having a lot of triggers or jealousy isn't reprehensible in itself, as long as it's not weaponized for control (then, it's the control that is reprehensible, and not the feelings). I assume you know that.

The problem with these grey-zone generally admitted morals and PTSD triggers is that it's easy to take one's own reactiveness as a moral pass because you'll find many people agreeing that x is bad, y is disgusting and z shall be punished. While well, probably not. I personally have suffered a lot in the hands of someone who did have that kind of obsession with me, and while I'm probably not aligned with conservative consensus, I really hadn't done anything wrong or hurtful to anyone.

I can definitely understand why it is painful to think of and why it's intruding in your normal patterns. Honestly, I would talk about it with my T. If you feel like that T cannot be trusted, is it because you have actual reasons to think she would respond badly or compromise your privacy (I know certain so-called therapists that are religious or affiliated to certain organizations can present that risk) or is it because you feel too embarrassed of yourself? These are two very different situations, and I'd definitely work on try to establish trust with my therapist in the second case because even if it rips my mouth off to come clear about certain feelings, this is the whole reason I'm doing therapy in the first place.

And it would be worth working on that fear of being replaced. It is a legitimate feeling, it has to be addressed. It can be accommodated by your partner by them showing you reassurance, but there are limits in one can do. Nothing I could do or not would ever have reassured my ex no matter I have been loyal to extremes. Irrationality just doesn't work that way.

However, it is only right and okay to explain you have an issue and expect some understanding towards it. Maybe not even actions, but understanding. Someone responding vehemently or dismissing it isn't too much of a good sign. At best, the person isn't understanding the nature of what's going on, so it's pretty important to contextualise to determine if the response is just epidermic and will be corrected or coming from actual dismissal. (Like someone being bothered at first or feel it's unjustified and protest a bit would be a normal response, but getting ramped up about it and start to yell or guilt or ignoring the issue trip wouldn't).

But more importantly it's working on how you value yourself and get yourself a feeling that you are loveable, and that the end of a relationship, even if it happens, doesn't mean you've been replaced. And that there is normally no reason for you to expect that in that relationship. And reiterate that as hell. In my meltdowns I also f*cking lost it several times with it, I do know how maddening it can get, sometimes it feels like the world even starts to wrap around me. If I identify any of these things happening, I just stop full brakes on. No matter what I was doing or intending to do, the first thing is to plainly stop it and get some contact with reality again.

Now for the lesser intrusions like picturing them, it really sucks but there aren't really ways to get rid of it. You can get gradually more comfortable with the situation so that fear will be less and less powerful until it eventually mitigates enough or dissipates. I am not too subject to intrusive thoughts so I really don't have much tips to improve that, but for what I understood it can be a bit similar as tackling OCD.

I hope this helps.
 
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