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sadbrowneyes

Craving Affection

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I have a serious problem.

 

I don't know where to start.

 

I've been in a relationship for almost four years. We have recently moved away from each other. We don't see each other often. Our relationship used to be strong but it has been slowly falling apart over the last six months (we have only lived apart for 2 months). I don't know how much I love him anymore, or maybe better phrasing would be whether I am still "IN" love with him. He is an amazing man, but I feel so detached.

 

I have been cheating on him with another man. We recently had sex but I didn't feel anything, emotionally or physically. So once again I was left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

 

To fill the void I have been going on online chatrooms and meeting men over the internet (but not in person). I have internet sex with them, but am still left feeling empty. I talk to lots of men who see a possibility for future dating, but I feel like being with them is all a fantasy. Sometimes I think these wonderful (there are also a lot of jerks) men deserve better than me, that I could never date them. So I talk to them as if I plan to meet them one day and have relationships with them. The fantasy makes me feel certain things, maybe a piece of hope. Though the hope fades as soon as our conversations end and I am left feeling numb and upset.

 

I am very insecure, that I am aware of. But I feel like I am never going to find someone who loves me the way I want to be loved and for me to love them as deeply in return.

 

I feel so ugly, my nose is huge and my chin is huge and I am not in shape. I feel like these days image is what gets you a good guy. Maybe that's a backwards way of thinking, but it is hard not to think that way. The beautiful, intelligent, charming men are all unattainable because they want beautiful women in return. I wish I was beautiful.

 

I feel like a reason I go on these video chatrooms is to feel like people think I'm beautiful, even if they don't actually see all my flaws first hand. I feel like I am able to wear a mask and hide the ugliness. They only see a piece of me and I feel like I can continue hiding the ugly parts of me. For a little while, I feel wanted.

 

I don't want to be the girl who does this. But I don't feel loved. I feel so empty.

 

Not sure where I was going with this. It's an awful feeling. How do I fix myself? Do I need to go back into therapy? Why am I so sexually promiscious? I don't seem to have any self-control when it comes to sex.

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I would absolutely talk to your doctor or therapist about it.

 

I think sometimes when we are so starved for attention, the right kind of attention, that we will seek out anything and anyone who will show us any affection at all. It never really fills the hole inside but we for some reason keep trying the same behavior hoping it will work this time. At least that is how I am.

 

We all act out in our own ways, good or bad, so try to now beat yourself up over it, the important thing is that you are recognizing you have an issue you need help with and are willing to search help out.

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JaLee raises some really good points & I agree. 

 

If it's OK, I'd like to challenge your idea that image gets you a good guy.  I think it might be more like image gets you a guy who's looking mostly for image. I'm sure there are many ppl like that out there.  But please don't sell yourself short.  We can all be very critical of our appearance but I think there is way more to ppl than how they look. 

 

I hope you will consider going back to therapy if you have found it helpful in the past. 

 

wishing you all the best,

orso

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I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think JaLee hit the nail on the head with the attention and affection issues. If you don't feel loved, it's human to seek it some place, somehow. I would try therapy again, too, if it's an option for you.

 

Sex isn't really one of my outlets, but I actually just turned to meeting guys on the internet, too, last night. Not in chatrooms, though. I responded to an ad on craigslist. It didn't even mention sex, and seemed way more thoughtful and emotional than the others (most of which are quite overtly sexual). Still, it feels scary, especially since he's in my city. I have no idea who this person is, but we've exchanged a few emails since then. But he's told me nothing about himself, and he's sent far more emails than me. Feels too pushy. Strangely silent to my questions, but with endless questions of his own. He's older than me, too. Yet, I don't want to let go.

 

I have huge beauty/image issues, too. I was always called ugly as a child, and I still feel that way. I feel bad every time I look in the mirror. Embarrassed. I hate that I feel that way. I hate that silly, changeable ideas about what it means to be an "ideal" human being can alienate us so much from our own bodies. I hate how much malicious words have hurt me. I hate that I believe some of them. I want to stop. I want to learn how not to be hurt by them anymore. But I don't know if I've ever met a human being who was genuinely not hurt by such things, even if to a lesser degree than me. Most of the people who say they weren't have acted like there's something wrong with those who are, which seems like a red flag to me.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think I kind of know how you feel. Even in person, I've tried to be this or that in order to get acceptance, hiding away all the rest of me. The "good girl," or the smart one, or the cynic, or whatever. But it never did last. Even when they did approve of the mask I was presenting, no friendship ever came of it. No romance, either. And it always left me feeling worse, and even more confused about who I am. I think any relationship worth having, platonic or not, has to be based on mutual compassion and respect. It may not be wise to overwhelm the person with all of your problems in the first few meetings/talks, but pretending to be someone you're not is kind of sabotage, because how can any intimacy arise? We'll always be stuck trying to maintain the approved image we're presenting. The only advice I can really give is to try to address the need that your behavior is trying to fill, and to take good care of yourself in the meantime as you look for ways to do that, through therapy or whatever else. You might have to work on the image and insecurity issues on the way, of course.

 

Also, please be careful online, and especially if you do decide to meet anyone IRL. Best wishes.

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I think you need to give serious consideration to getting back into therapy, sadbrowneyes.  It sounds like you are filling the emotional void of your insecurity with something unhealthy that makes you feel better about yourself.  And your behavior is extremely risky, too.  Meeting people you meet online is a very risky venture, even via video or chat.  Please re-consider therapy. 

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