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I don't know what normal is anymore

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I've been through 10 years of hell. My ex was controlling, manipulative, abusive, and a cheater. Needless to say, I have trust issues. I am in a relationship now (nearly 2 years) with a man who is very different. However, I still have issues. Something happened recently and I honestly don't know if this is normal and I'm over reacting or if this is a red flag. There's a girl at his job that he talks to/about often. I've met her and I got a weird feeling from her. I've tried talking to him about it, but he says he thinks of her a little sister and nothing more, that my doubts make him feel like he isn't trusted. I tried to let it go, or at least be worry about it. Lady night he and I had a small disagreement about something unrelated. He spent the entire evening on facebook, being annoyed with me, which I can understand. But this morning when I opened the computer, his account was still up and messenger was open. This is EXACTLY what he typed:"Honestly, if I wasn't with ×××(me) right now, I'd be all over you like a dog in heat. You are gorgeous and you make things worse by being a Debbie downer all the time. I'm saying that as a friend, but as a guy... FUCK, the things I would do to you! Take charge of your life- that would be HOT! And yes, you ARE gorgeous! " I'm so hurt by this. I don't even know what to say or do. There's a huge part of me dating"I'm out. I'm not doing this again" but another part of me wonders... is that too much? Is this normal talk? Just because I consider it hurtful, does that mean the world sees it that way? He isn't cheating. Obviously. But... I don't know. Help?

I don't know what normal is anymore

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Well, seems like you have a short fuse with men who are "controlling, manipulative, abusive, and a cheater." (Your description of your ex.) Now you are with a man who is . . . . . (You fill in the blanks.) Then decide if you need to "get out." Trust your instincts. Listen to the sound of the bells and see the red flag waving!

I don't know what normal is anymore

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I'm not susprised you're having trouble deciding whether or not this boyfriend's behaviour is out of order. Look what you have to compare him to: the abusive, full-pelt cheating ex. But now compare him to a normal, healthy, DECENT boyfriend, the type who'd never cheat and treats his lover like uniquely precious cargo, and - voila! - BF is simply LESS abusive than the ex, whether it only comes to the fore during clashes or not. So that's progress. But it's not the full nine yards. Probably because you entered back into a relationship that bit too soon, rather than waiting until you were back to full strength, pride, dignity, and vowing to hold out for your 'prince'...having spent time reflecting in order to sort out in your head, to point of hard-set conviction, what he should look and behave like (and, by the same token, NEVER behave like). Not everyone is a 'get straight back onto the horse' merchant... which they then sooner or later find out and then cry rebound relationship. 'Older brothers', assuming they don't have a long history of family incestuousness, do not talk to their 'little sisters' the way HE did in that FB message, not even when brimming with post-fight anger and resentment and wanting to secretly, vindictively bat-back and score points. They sit down with you (or STAY sat down quietly and self-controlled-ly in the first place) and discuss the contentious matter(s) like a grown adult...a GENTLEMAN. So what this 'man' has done in a fit of pique is simply lift the lid and let out what was secretly tacitly there, all along - the fact that he fancies this 'sister'. So he's right there PROVEN that he does NOT 'see her as a little sister', and there's now no arguing with that! Neither is there any arguing with the fact that, were she genuinely precious to him AS a sister or platonic friend, and vice-versa for her, he would not say anything that could possibly seriously jeopardise that association. But back to you and your relationship with him: what man in love can even CONCEIVE of having equal or stronger feelings for another woman than his present lover, especially at the 2-year point, let ALONE testify to it in indelible Black & White? I mean, what are we supposed to presume would have happened if she'd come back and said, 'In that case, let's you and me waste no more time in getting it on!'? And what does it say, ANYWAY, that the man with whom you're in a long-term relationship - now a whole year and 9 months beyond the point of Mutually Exclusive & Committed - would have insisted the entire time on staying 'involved' with a single, available woman whom he finds attractive to such a degree - or *any* degree for that matter? So, yes, I'm afraid he IS cheating. It may be Cheating Lite - the thin of that whole wedge - but IT'S A START, isn't it? It shows he COULD, doesn't it?...with just the right (i.e. wrong) amount of 'provocation' or invitation? Were it me? Yes, I'd move on... continue walking the path to full recovery where Nobody's Victim/Nobody's Victimiser (you) attracts Nobody's Victimiser/Nobody's Victim. That's obviously your echelon (hurrah!) and you've AGAIN in unnecessary haste picked beneath you. And one could say that had you nipped that misdemeanour situation in the bud the moment you'd found out about it (her), you wouldn't now be in this mess. But that would be misplaced blame when one remembers to consider that a GENTLEMAN doesn't NEED to be told to do or not to do something that anyone on the healthy spectrum knows isn't relationship-acceptable or -conducive. But if you want convincing then just ask yourself, how would HE have reacted/what would HE have done had the roles been reversed? Dumped you on the spot, I'd have thought (because those types can dish it but can't take it...one rule for them, another for you). So there's your answer. There's your answer even IF he deliberately left that trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow, purposefully to hurt and disturb you and score major points AS WELL AS hopefully leave you too cowed to in future stand up for yourself over anything. Dump the dud. He'll either set about proving he's nothing of the sort and just liable to act like a complete short-sighted tw*t during conflicts, or the opposite. Hope that helps as well, as a 'long-hand' version of what I suspect Susiedqq was trying to nutshell.

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