Advice Needed: Changing Personality

xxxXxxx (@xxxxxx) 8 years, 10 months ago

I’m in a bit of a pickle.

I have been dating a guy for a few years (both of us are under 20), and we were seemingly happy. We decided to do long-distance this year, and are about 6 hours apart (driving). The last year of our relationship was a little rocky, and by that I mean almost constant fighting, but once we had some space we began to get better. After a month or so things were going GREAT when he confessed a few things he had done the previous year:

He lied about watching porn for two years.
He took pictures of girls (random girls in places like school or the mall) on his phone, and masturbated in public places.
He looked at myspace posts and got off on them.
He also told me that he isn’t completely attracted to me.
He had numerous crushes on other girls.
He also lied about a variety of small issues.

It has been about four months, and we are trying to stay together. However, I’m having some doubts.
He always acted like honesty was very important before, but he lied almost constantly as he said that.
He says that he no longer lies, or watches porn, and is trying to see girls in a new way (not checking them out immediately). At heart I think he’s a good guy, he just is very childish, unmotivated, and afraid of conflict.

He says he decided to tell me all of this so we could have an honest relationship, because things were so much better he didn’t feel he could lie anymore.

Is it possible for someone to just decide to stop all of that? He says that he wants to be a better person, for himself as well as our relationship. He says he is trying (checking out girls less, working on being less superficial, not watching porn), but I’m incredibly dubious.

Any thoughts? Has anyone gone through this, or watched someone else go through this?

January 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Nature (67) (@stefan) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Accept the fact that he will continue to watch porn( why do you care if he does?) Also, accept the fact that he will always have other crushes (i.e. women he finds attractive enough and if its the right place at the right time it’s always possible they gon’ make babies), even if he has the willpower to give it up to save the relationship. There is nothing wrong with this.

Good luck

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Simon (15) (@taoisman) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

It is possible for someone to, but from the sound of it I don’t think he’s at that point in life just yet. I think he’ll get there though; looks like there’s more hope for him than many guys.

It seems clear he felt pressured being so close to you, and a little distance set him free for the time being. I don’t think this will last if you move closer again, as there’s no indication he has changed profoundly or something has changed him. You would know better than anyone else though, seeing as you’re the one being with him.

I have seen several couples go through this process, and it’s common that it’s the guy not being ready for the serious commitment. Seeing as you’re both very young, it seems highly likely to me that this is the case. He is trying though, and in a few years he may very well be. He might not even slip up until then, but it’ll take effort from his side. It all comes down to whether you believe in him or not.

If it’s any help, I would not. I’d give him at least a few years rather than get hurt again. I wouldn’t blame him either though; as you say he’s just a bit immature and afraid of taking responsibility. It’s something you can’t force for most people; they need to grow with time.

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Emma (193) (@emmaclaire) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

If things only got better when you had space (I assume when you separated to your respective places 6 hours away) I think that is a red hot indicator that something may not be quite right. Yes, some people can change. A lot of intended change is really persistent at first but dies out soon. Have you ever made plans for self improvement, like exercising more, learning a new skill, etc. that you are super into at first, but you forget two weeks later? That may or may not be the thing with him. A lot of people stay in sinking ship relationships out of habit and fear of the unknown. If you feel this relationship is fated to end, try not to cling to it. Maybe he will change, maybe he won’t. Only time will tell. But ask yourself: does he enrich your life more than he causes you pain? I may not be giving you the advice you wanted or needed, but I hope I helped.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@xxxxxx, not to sound too harsh but I’d let him go. He’s already had many opportunities to gain your trust, and blown it. He doesn’t seem trustworthy at all, in fact you said he seemed honest for a while when he really wasn’t, so not only that but he also seems like a skilled liar. And last but not least, some of those things you described that he did sound very creepy. It’s your call to make, of course, but I don’t think staying with him is doing you any favors. You can do better, and you deserve it.

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Paralleladigm (29) (@paralleladigm) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

That’s simple, Work a 12 step program. Doesn’t matter which one. Even AA. Weather or not your an alcoholic the point of the program is to gain a healthier perspective on life. In the process you will have a positive personality change and learn a lot about yourself. Go look up the 9th step promises.

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Kayla (68) (@kayla147258) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

To be straightforward, the guy sounds like a douchebag. He also sounds like my ex. My ex also ”stopped” all of those things, too. (Most of what you had on that list.) But found out later he didn’t stop any of it. It just got worse.

Now, that’s just my hostile biased opinion. People can change and you know him better than anyone on this site, so I’d say you already know the answer to this deep down. Good luck

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sky (13) (@kaibyou) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I think he’s being honest about this.

If you think about it, there is nothing for him to gain by admitting all of these things, and he must come to terms with the fact that he might drive you away by letting out these ugly truths. It might come to mind that he’s laying out all of these things because he wants to end the relationship in a subtle way, but most people would not want to do it on such embarrassing terms.

I suggest you focus on being best friends again, not necessarily dropping the relationship, but just focusing more on interacting, getting to know each other.

And from experience, him confessing of his own accord is infinitely better than having to drill it out of him.

Best wishes.

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sky (13) (@kaibyou) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

And another thing.

If something makes you feel bad, such as him watching porn, listen to the feeling.

It has become a “social norm” for guys to be promiscuous and also polygamous. And yes, I know that primates are not monogamous by nature, and even though there still might be some influences from this left over in humanity, please consider the fact that we have a conscience, morality, and the damn ability to improve.

If he is with you, he should not be out investigating other “potential mates.” If you need to hear it from another person, this behaviour is utterly disgusting, and one of the worst insults possible to you.

It’s perfectly fine to have your feelings about things. And you should stick with them, out of respect for yourself.

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ces’t la vie (197) (@citygirl9050) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@xxxxxx, i agree the porn part u gotta accept A LOT OF GUYS if not most guys watch porn.

but yeah for the other stuff.. i say let him go too :( unless he loves you and is attracted to u a lot now haha

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MsKisa (20) (@mskisa) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Guys are going to watch porn, give that one up. I suggest watching a few yourself, they can be enjoyable for women too. It is important for people in a relationship to be allowed the freedom to masturbate, it says ‘we are not solely dependent upon one another for sex’. As far as spying on girls, taking pictures and masturbating in public to them..that’s highly illegal and is going to get him in serious legal trouble, forget anything about morality here..if he can’t control those urges you’re just asking to be the one to bail him out of jail one day. As far as looking at other girls, it’s a natural response. You probably look at hot guys for just a few seconds too long but he either doesn’t notice or he doesn’t care. If it’s just quick glances down a shirt or things like that just tell him to be more mindful of it in public because it could embarrass both of you…if he’s like gazing deeply into women’s eyes then drooling over their breasts he does have a real problem. It’s natural for him to have ‘crushes’ on other women, it’s a neurochemical response we ALL have when meeting someone who is attractive and fits some of our other criteria. So long as he’s not acting on these crushes without telling you what’s going on.

As far as life advice, I say stop clinging to monogamy. It is unrealistic and unfair to expect any one person to meet all of your needs, wants and dreams for the future. Check out polyamory :)

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Brianna (29) (@briannabbycks) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@xxxxxx

Have things gotten better for you ?

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Lily Saisa (4) (@striving) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

i would leave him.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@citygirl9050, @mskisa, saying guys are gonna watch porn is like saying, oh well, people are gonna smoke cigs. Just because it’s there and encouraged doesn’t make it right….guys who spend their sexual energy on porn have less energy to spend on real women. It warps the mind in all kinds of ways. It’s kind of my pet peeve, because I feel it is wrong that something that functions much the same as illegal drugs do is right there out in the open and totally legal. People think its ok even acceptable, but like drugs it has real consequences of using it.

I don’t think it’s in the best interests of women to say oh well guys are gonna watch it, they should say, it’s them or porn. Choose real life or lies, love or addiction. Warmth or self-destruction. It should be a nobrainer.

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MsKisa (20) (@mskisa) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@theskafish, Hey at least I’m being sex positive :p

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@mskisa, so am I in my own way. But it bothers me that there is a whole industry out there that encourages people to experience sex vicariously instead of seeking the real thing.

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ces’t la vie (197) (@citygirl9050) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@theskafish, there is the real thing but if there is no time for the real thing porn is an okay substitute, much better then cheating!!

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@peaceriot, thanks for the support on this issue, man. @citygirl9050, I’m not just hating or making stuff up about how porn is bad either – I was hooked for a while. The whole thing started off with naked models and stuff like that, playmates and party girls and such, and at the time I thought it was harmless and normal, I figured, I was a straight male and these girls are more or less my age after all so no big deal. But as time went on eventually it progressed to racier stuff all the way up to actual sex scenes (when I looked back on it later, I realized the progression was a lot like a junkie needing more and more to get high – another warning sign). I did not watch a wide variety, and I never watched anything violent or gruesome or illegal, but I did feel addicted nonetheless and always felt terrible when my willpower caved and I gave in, I always had a strong sense that I was doing something wrong. And I always felt like crap physically afterwards, because that’s the way it works. I tried to quit several times in 2012, eventually the relapses got fewer and further between and I’m glad to say I’m clean in 2013.

A couple red flags came up which changed my mind. One was like I said that I always felt that I was doing something wrong by watching it, and physically feeling shitty afterwards, and two was that as I realized I didn’t even enjoy it but I watched anyway. I’d always ask myself during and afterwards, why am I doing this to myself/why did I do this to myself? Why did I use my time on this? That’s when I knew there was definitely some psychological addiction going on, and my suspicions of porn being bad for your mind were confirmed. I noticed that my problem usually struck when I was already having a stressful day or feeling bad about something. I imagined a cigarette smoker probably felt the same way when they wanted to quit, a little voice in your head saying it’s only one more, just this last pack and you’re done – but as you know if you don’t resist, one more turns into 20 “one more’s”. The thing that finally got me to quit was thinking to myself, I don’t even like this, this isn’t the ideal self I dream of for myself and it’s creepy and definitely not what I want sex to be like, and if I have all this energy and time to waste on a stupid addiction then I have all this energy and time to put towards getting a life and a girlfriend instead.

I regret ever deciding to start watching it, because what has been seen cannot be unseen. But I got out of it with the knowledge that porn can and does mess with your mind, and I really don’t like how the media these days hypersexualizes everything. I don’t think it’s good for the male or female mind.

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Alex (345) (@staylucky) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Oh man. I would have paid good money to be the first person to reply to this thread.

So disappointed I only found it now :(

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MsKisa (20) (@mskisa) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@peaceriot, I fly my freak flag proudly and often.


@all
, I am just very disappointed in the things being said here..porn literally turns people into pedophiles, the whole industry is horrible because the mainstream, straight, monogamous porn is based purely on exploitation, your natural urges to explore sexuality during puberty somehow turn you into a porn slave. I think y’all just need to explore something outside of vanilla sex and do it more often.

If you have a predisposition to become addicted, you’ll become addicted to anything. It could be porn, cocaine, alcohol, exercise.. literally anything. Sometimes the root is a genetic predisposition, sometimes it is behavioral. If watching porn was the only alone time you got, and the best stress relief you felt you had at the time, sure it’s going to become tempting to just keep doing it, more and more often, until it becomes a ritual that you must complete.

@staylucky, I second that XD

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MsKisa (20) (@mskisa) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaibyou, I would refrain from making statements about polyamory as a whole until you educate yourself about it. Polygamy =/= Polyamory.

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PeaceRiot (178) (@peaceriot) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@mskisa, well one don’t be disappointed. These are our lives and our ideals. You are right about addictive behavioral patterns but that could account for a small portion of the population addicted to porn. Who really knows it could be allot too.

This is all very subjective though. It’s subjective of you to say the porn industry is great and it’s subjective of me to say it isn’t.

Just like allot of the issues on this site there is not right or wrong answer. It’s how you view it and how I view it.

I just know so many guys who struggle with it and it just ruins their social life.

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PeaceRiot (178) (@peaceriot) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

http://www.getfrank.co.nz/dating-romance-relationships/sex/the-pros-and-cons-of-porn

This shows a couple good points for both sides of the picture. As another guy who has been through it I wouldn’t wish porn addiction on anybody.

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MsKisa (20) (@mskisa) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@peaceriot, point taken, in the context of one man, one woman monogamy *most* of everyone else’s opinions here are pretty accurate. My only aim was to offer an alternative to that, trust me, it gets old. Still never going to believe that the mere act of watching porn is going to turn someone into a pedophile.

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pat (169) (@epath) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@xxxxxx, if you would do what I said I would tell you what to do but most people just want to talk or have their feigns validated. So I say you should

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pat (169) (@epath) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Feelings. But feigns also works

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