Expert posts
Short course: “Getting It Right for Children”
Do you know the best ways to stay calm and to make sure you listen as well as talk? Are you prepared to see things differently? Can you stop a discussion turning into an argument? When things get heated, most people struggle to keep their cool. Research shows that drawn-out disagreements between parents can make children feel stressed and unhappy, particularly when it’s obvious to them that something is going on.    What do I need to do? Making agreements can be hard. Sticking to them can be even harder. Practising communication and negotiation skills can help things go more smoothly, even if you and your child’s other parent have very different opinions and emotions are running high.  We've suggested a good place for you to start based on what you've told us already. In this section you can work on improving the way you communicate and negotiate. The skills you gain will help you work with your child's other parent to create and stick to your Parenting Plan. Most people find it helpful to go through the skills in order, so we'd recommend starting at the beginning, and going through the three sections in order: STOP TALK IT OUT WORK IT OUT The first step is usually to STOP arguing. This means staying calm, making sure you listen and being prepared to see things differently. The next step is to TALK IT OUT. Here, you will learn how to speak for yourself and the benefits of being clear and sticking to the rules. The final step is to WORK IT OUT. This is where you bring it all together by looking at the best ways to negotiate when things are difficult.
Activity | course, GIRFC
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Consent orders: your questions answered
1. What is a consent order? A consent order is the legal document that sets out the financial arrangements between you and your partner when you are divorcing. It can detail what will happen to property, savings, pensions or debts, and whether one of you will pay the other a regular payment to help with living costs. It can also end future financial claims against each of you by the other. It is legally binding, and the court can enforce the order if one of you does not do what is agreed. 2. Won’t our financial ties be cut when we get divorced or end our civil partnership? No. You will still be financially tied to each other, even if you have been divorced or separated for many years. If you remarry, you will forfeit your claims against your partner, and vice versa. 3. Can you get a consent order if you’re living together? No. If you live together, then you can have a separation agreement to set out what will happen to your finances. A separation agreement is different to a consent order because it is not legally binding (meaning the court can’t enforce it).If you live together and have children, then you can still claim child maintenance from your partner. Find out more here on the government website. 4.What else does the court need to sign off a consent order? For the court to sign off your consent order you will need to provide the following;A. A financial snapshot of your assets, debts, pensions and income for you, your ex and any children you have together. This is called a ‘statement of information’ or form D81. The figures you’ll need to include are: the equity in any property, savings, investments business assets, pensions, and your income after tax (net).B. Details of how you’ll divide the finances and arrange any child or spousal maintenance and pension sharing details. This is called the Financial Remedy Order (or Order, or Consent Order). This document will need to be drafted by a trained legal professional.C. If you are sharing or splitting a pension, you will also need a Pension Sharing Order (called Penson Sharing Annex, form P1) that sets out how much pension will be shared between you. This is a separate document to your consent order and will need to be sent to your pension company along with your sealed consent order.D. You will need to complete a Form A, to ask the court to consider your finances.E. It is also advisable to send an explanation to the court about how and why you’ve come to that agreement. You have to demonstrate that you understand how the law works in relation to marital assets. 5. When do you get a consent order? You can apply for a consent order either at the same time as divorcing or dissolving your civil partnership or after your divorce or dissolution. You cannot get a consent order before starting your divorce or dissolution proceeding. The earliest opportunity that you’ll be able to submit your financial agreement to the court is at Decree Nisi stage. 6. Can a judge turn down a consent order? Yes. If a judge feels the arrangement is unfair on one person, the order will be rejected. Sometimes a judge will ask for more information and you can write a letter of explanation. At other times the judge may order a short hearing to hear from both of you as to why you feel your settlement is fair.   7. What is a clean break consent order? It’s a type of consent order used if there are no finances to sort out now but you want to end all future claims against each other. This is usually used if you don’t have any finances to sort out, or if you have already split your finances. You will still both need to give the court a snapshot of your finances (the financial disclosure). 8. Can I do a consent order myself? No, not unless you’re legally trained. Nowadays. It is relatively straightforward to file a divorce online via the government’s website, but you do need to be legally trained to draw up the legal documentation that makes up a consent order. 9. Do you need a solicitor or lawyer to divorce? No. If you’ve already agreed on what you want to do or even if you need some help with negotiating your finances, you don’t have to involve lawyers if you don’t want to. There are plenty of divorce services companies who offer consent order services. However, if you’d like to know what you’re entitled to, or if there are any danger signs (e.g. hiding assets, or domestic violence) then you should protect yourself by getting a good divorce lawyer. You can find a list of family law and divorce law professionals at Resolution. 10. How much does it cost to get a consent order? The range of getting a consent order starts from hundreds of pounds, but can go all the way up to hundreds of thousands if you’re not in agreement and end up in court. There is also a £50 court fee for filing a consent order. If you need help deciding what route is best suited to your personal situation, get free divorce advice from our partners at amicable.
Article | divorce, consent orders
Pornography: your questions answered
 We get lots of posts about pornography and masturbation. Many of you are worried about what it means if your partner uses pornography, or if masturbation might be reason you’re not getting as much sex as you might like. We’ve had a look at the science behind pornography and the effects it can have on your relationship, and we’ve answered some of your questions below. Is pornography bad for my relationship? This depends on your opinion of it. If you have a problem with pornography in general, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be OK with your partner watching it. This can have a negative impact on your relationship [1]. One way pornography can affect your relationship quality is by diminishing your self-esteem. If you aren’t happy about the idea of your partner using pornography, it can make you feel like you don’t matter in the relationship, or that you aren’t good enough. If you don’t mind pornography, or if your self-esteem is very robust, then it’s less likely to have a negative impact on your relationship [2]. Can pornography reduce sexual desire? Watching pornography doesn’t seem to reduce sexual desire. According to one study, pornography doesn’t take away your sexual urges, so it’s unlikely that this would be the reason a partner seems less interested in sex [3]. For more ideas on why sex might be off the table, check out our tips on being in a sexless relationship. Can we watch pornography together? Several studies have shown that couples who watch pornography together can experience improvements in their sex lives [3] [4]. As a shared activity, it can encourage you to talk about sex, creating a more open atmosphere for you to discuss your sexual desires and fantasies. While it’s important to remember that pornography doesn’t always present a realistic picture of sex, it can sometimes be a springboard for talking about what you like and don’t like [5]. How can we use pornography to talk about our relationship? Be open and honest about pornography. If you like using it, talk to your partner about why. If you don’t like it, let your partner know where you stand. These might not be the easiest conversations to start, but they can have a positive effect on your relationship by allowing you to learn more about each other. This can improve your sex life and may help make your general communication easier – couples who find a way to talk about their sexual desires in this way can even strengthen their relationship quality overall [6]. You may find that starting a dialogue around this helps you to be more open to experimentation, with a more varied and satisfying sex life. You can learn about each other’s likes and dislikes and talk about how happy you both are with the level of intimacy in your relationship [6]. Can’t I just use pornography alone? Yes, you can. However, it’s worth being aware that using pornography alone can lead to a decrease in sexual communication between you and your partner [6]. When sexual activity becomes secretive, sexual communication can too. Is there such a thing as ethical pornography? This is a tricky one, and a good question to ask yourself. While looking at pornography can be a healthy activity within your relationship, it’s important to think about where it comes from. You may not have considered whether the performers were paid for their work or even whether they have consented to do everything you’re seeing. It’s not always easy to find ethical material, or to know the background of the things you do find. One place to start might be the Toronto International Porn Festival, which has strict guidelines around its submission policy and encourages a diversity of sexual interests. It’s up to you and your partner to decide what you think is acceptable but, if you’re unsure about the ethics of a particular piece, the best advice is don’t watch it.   References [1] Maas, M. K., et al. (2018). A Dyadic Approach to Pornography Use and Relationship Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Couples: The Role of Pornography Acceptance and Anxious Attachment. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(6). 772–782. [2] Stewart, D., & Szymanski, N. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use as a Correlate of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5), 257-271. [3] Brown, C., Carroll, C., Yorgason, J., Busby, S., Willoughby, J., & Larson, B. (2017). A Common-Fate Analysis of Pornography Acceptance, Use, and Sexual Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Married Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 575-584. [4] Maddox, A., Rhoades, M., & Markman, G. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. [5] Daneback, K., Træen, B., & Månsson, S. (2009). Use of Pornography in a Random Sample of Norwegian Heterosexual Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(5), 746-753. [6] Kohut, T., Balzarini, R., Fisher, W., Campbell, L., Impett, E., & Muise, A. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676.
Article | pornography, masturbation
Parenting courses and disabled children
When you’re a parent of a disabled child, it’s wise to take as much help as you can get. There may be more support on offer than you realise, so speak to everyone who might be able to help – your child’s GP and other clinical professionals, your local children’s services, the school, and even friends or family who might know what’s available in the area. There is still a lot of stigma around parenting support. As a proud parent, you might be tempted to talk yourself into thinking that you don’t need it or shouldn’t accept it. However, when embarking on the most important job you will ever do, you might as well take whatever help is on offer. Seeking support isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a smart, practical choice to help yourself be the best parent you can. If you’ve been asked to do a parenting course, it can feel like you’re being judged. Many parents worry that their parenting skills are being called into question, or that their child is in trouble – try to remember that parenting programmes are designed to support you in developing the positive skills you already have. They can help you deal with stress and improve your and your partner’s relationship with your child and with each other. If you can get onto a programme with specific content for your child’s needs, you may find content that’s especially relevant, but a general parenting course can still help. For lots of parents of disabled children, attending parenting programmes helps to create a sense of stability. Having a specific course of action mapped out can give you a feeling of security which can help your child to feel more confident too [1]. Personal empowerment  A parenting programme can also have a positive effect on how you feel, alleviating some of the stress in your life, and helping you to feel better about your role as a parent. One study found that parents of disabled children felt more empowered and more empathetic after undertaking a specialist parenting programme [2]. Disabled children may be more likely to display behaviour that challenges than non-disabled children as they may have no other way of communicating that they are distressed or unhappy. As a parent, you may feel very alone, and worried about the best approach to take. Getting expert help through a parenting class can help alleviate your concerns, and it can be a relief to discover that other parents are facing the same issues. If you are dealing with behaviour issues, you can also read Contact’s guide Understanding your child’s behaviour. Family support If you can’t get access to an appropriate parenting programme, or don’t feel comfortable attending a generic one, you can still get support from friends and family – you don’t have to do everything on your own. Caring for a child with additional needs can be physically and emotionally exhausting, especially when tackled alone, so don’t hesitate to call on your social support network. Parents of disabled children cope better when they work together as a family unit. Having a strong group dynamic can actively strengthen the resilience of each individual family member [3]. This means that you, if you are the main caregiver, can benefit from the combined strength of your partner, your parents, and other family members. Lean on whoever is available. Accept help when it’s offered, ask for it when it’s not, and build a strong unit of support around your family. Short breaks Of course, not all families have good relationships. Sometimes, the arrival of a disabled child or the realisation that an older child has a disability, can add to already strained relations. Other family members may go through the same emotions as parents – including anger, grief and denial – and some find it hard to move on and accept the situation. Even if you feel disappointed by the support you receive from family members, there are practical services which may be available to give you the chance of a real break and to make time for you and your relationship. ‘Short breaks’, which ensure a disabled child or adult is cared for while the main carer has a break, may include: Overnight care in the family home or elsewhere. Daytime care in the family home or elsewhere. Educational or leisure activities for disabled children and young people outside their homes. Services available to assist carers in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays. Most breaks are arranged by social services – the department in your local authority, which is responsible for providing help to meet the needs of disabled children and adults. Usually, social services will need to assess your child and the family’s needs before services can be arranged but getting a break can be a lifeline for some relationships. For more information about getting a break, see Contact’s guide, Services and support from your local authority – England. If you can’t access short breaks, you can ask your local Family Information Service about local organisations offering relaxation sessions for carers, as well as activities in the holidays and at weekends for you, your disabled child and any siblings.   References [1] Nelson, P., Kirk, S., Caress, A., & Glenny, A. (2012). Parents' Emotional and Social Experiences of Caring for a Child Through Cleft Treatment. Qualitative Health Research, 22(3), 346-359. [2] Burton, R., Zwahr-Castro, S., Magrane, J., Hernandez, C., Farley, L., & Amodei, H. (2018). The Nurturing Program: An Intervention for Parents of Children with Special Needs. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27(4), 1137-1149. [3] Suzuki, Hiratani, Mizukoshi, Hayashi, & Inagaki. (2018). Family resilience elements alleviate the relationship between maternal psychological distress and the severity of children’s developmental disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 83, 91-98.
Article | disability, parenting
“Valentine 365: I feel loved and cared for when…”
Is it cards, chocolates, cuddly toys and uncomfortable underwear day again??? Valentine’s day has become about stuff… and we believe there shouldn’t be only one day when couples do romance. But, Valentine’s day is a good opportunity to start upping your game with a technique that will work ALL YEAR ROUND and the only ‘stuff’ you will need is a pen and paper. Try this with your partner tonight Each get a piece of paper and a pen. Across the top, write: "I FEEL LOVED AND CARED FOR WHEN…" Then write the numbers 1 to 10 down the left-hand side. Fill in 10 things your partner can do that would make you feel loved, cared for and supported by them (examples below). Once you have each written your list of things that would give you that warm and fuzzy feeling, SWAP your lists. You now each have a cheat sheet of simple things that you can do to make your partner feel loved and cared if they are having a tough day or you have been arguing or busy for weeks. Note: In really difficult times, some people do the entire list at once (!!). If your lists get stale in the future, you can refresh them with new items. Examples Run me a bath unprompted. Make me cheese on toast. Clear out the car. Bring home my favourite chocolate bar. Empty the dishwasher. Make me a cuppa. Buy me a magazine, then take the kids out for an hour. Stop looking at your phone from 8pm. Let me watch my TV show in peace. Ask me how I am. Book an event for the family. Take me for dinner. Plan a day out. What is stopping you? Write your lists and enjoy feeling loved, cared for and supported. Kate Nicolle Kate is a trainer for OnePlusOne, the organisation behind Click. This technique is from the practitioner programme, How To Argue Better.
Article | communication, love
They mess you up, your mum and dad
As that PG-rated version of the famous poem goes, our parents have a lot to answer for. We may not know it at the time, but our attitudes to relationships are formed when we are children, and we learn a lot from seeing adults interacting with each other while we are growing up. Because of this, people who grow up with divorced or separated parents are more likely to have a negative view of marriage and may be less interested in romantic relationships in general. When they do form relationships, they might be more likely to get into arguments with their partners and less keen on the idea of making a long-term commitment [1]. If your parents were separated or divorced, it can affect the way you view relationships from the start. As you get older, this can then affect the way you interact with the people you have relationships with. This doesn’t mean that you’re destined to repeat your parents’ patterns, but it can be a helpful way of understanding how you relate to others. When you understand the source of your attitude to relationships, it can make it easier for you to set a pace that suits you and to recognise problems when they come up. It’s OK if you don’t feel ready to make a commitment and, of course, some level of conflict is to be expected in most relationships (it’s the way you handle conflict that matters most). But, if you aren’t as happy with your relationship as you’d like to be, and you’re looking to make some changes, then recognising the source of your feelings can be a good place to start. Ask yourself what you might have learned about relationships when you were growing up. Who were your adult role models and what kinds of relationships did they have? Most of what we understand about how relationships work comes from seeing the way our parents interact. When we see them supporting each other, making compromises, and getting over arguments, we learn important skills about how to do this in our own relationships. If you grew up with separated parents, you might have missed out on a lot of that, especially if your parents didn’t handle their breakup very well or continued to argue in front of you. Even when separated parents do get on well, their children can still miss out on important lessons. You could be left trying to figure out relationship skills the hard way – through trial and error. As a result, you might find it harder to deal with relationship stress and arguments with your partner, all of which can make your relationship feel less satisfying [2]. These issues can also be linked to problems with sex and intimacy. You may find that you are less interested in sexual experiences. You might not always recognise it when your partner is trying to be intimate with you, or you might just not be into it. This is quite common for people who grew up in homes with a single parent, particularly if there wasn’t much adult affection on display [2]. Go easy on yourself, especially in your early relationships when you are still figuring out what you want. Ask your partner to be patient with you and try to be honest about anything you are finding difficult. If intimacy is an issue, ask your partner to slow things down. If you find it hard to commit, just be clear about where you’re at so that your partner can manage their expectations. Growing up with step-parents Of course, if you grew up with step-parents, it’s possible that a lot of this won’t apply to you. Unlike children who grow up with both parents, you may have had the benefit of seeing how a successful relationship begins. This can play a big part in how you go on to form your own relationships. If your parents separated when you were a child, but another parental figure entered your life, you might even be better at starting relationships than people whose parents stayed together [3]. References [1] Cui, M., & Fincham, F. (2010). The differential effects of parental divorce and marital conflict on young adult romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 17(3), 331-343. [2] Shulman, S., Zlotnik, A., Shachar-Shapira, L., Connolly, J., & Bohr, Y. (2012). Adolescent Daughters' Romantic Competence: The Role of Divorce, Quality of Parenting, and Maternal Romantic History. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(5), 593-606. [3] Ivanova, K., Mills, M., & Veenstra, R. (2014). Parental Residential and Partnering Transitions and the Initiation of Adolescent Romantic Relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(3), 465-475.  
Article | separation, divorce, dating
Raising a baby after a breakup
Raising a baby with your ex-partner is unlikely to be something you ever planned for. But, if you and your partner have separated while your child is still very young, you’ll need to find a way to make things work so that you can get on with the job of being parents at a crucial time.  The breakup of a long-term relationship – particularly when there is a child involved – can be profoundly painful. You might be feeling sad, angry, guilty, regretful, relieved, or any number of emotions as you’re left reeling from the shock of the separation. And, while you might need support to get you through it, you must also keep in mind that this time in your child’s life is more important than anything going on between you and your ex. If you feel unable to move forward, it can be useful to get some external help, either in the form of relationship counselling, or individual therapy. Talk to your GP or ask at your local children’s centre to find out what support is available locally. When your emotions are still very raw, it can be difficult to see past them to the next step. Your goal should be get to a stage where you’re able to be the best parent you can be. The first three years of your child’s life are a crucial stage of their emotional development. If you are sharing custody with your ex, be aware that overnight stays in two separate homes can impede your child’s emotional development. While you might both want to have the child living with you, you may have to set aside your own wants for your child’s needs. Don’t focus on fairness between you and your ex – focus on providing continuity and consistency for your child. To achieve this, you’re going to have to cooperate with each other and maintain a positive co-parenting relationship. Put your differences aside, and make sure that your child has access to the warmth and care of both parents, even if you no longer want to be with each other [1]. Positive co-parenting You can help your child adjust to your separation by maintaining a positive relationship with your ex. Your child doesn’t care which of you was in the wrong, or which of you is hurting the most – they just need you both to be there for them. When you and your ex are getting along well, it can actually be a positive force for your child’s emotional development [2], regardless of the fact that you’re not together as a couple. Further support Like many parents in your situation, you might feel like you are powerless to change anything, particularly if you’re finding it hard to get along with your ex. However, change has to start somewhere, so it might as well start with you. Let go of any resentments and set aside the temptation to blame your partner. You can be the one to make the first positive change. You may have to be persistent, but you can start to nudge your co-parenting relationship towards being the positive force that your child needs. For more practical support, try our short course, Getting it Right for Children. It’s completely free to use – if you’re not already registered with us, just create a free Click account and you’ll be able to get started. If it feels OK to do so, consider sharing this course with your ex. Suggest it as something you can both do to make sure you have the best co-parenting relationship possible for your child. References  [1] Pruett, M., Mcintosh, J., & Kelly, J. (2014). Parental Separation and Overnight Care of Young Children. Family Court Review, 52(2), 240-255. [2] Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., Di Blasio, P., & Feinberg, M. (2018). Co-parenting Mediates the Influence of Marital Satisfaction on Child Adjustment: The Conditional Indirect Effect by Parental Empathy. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-12.
Article | separation, divorce, co-parenting
Community posts
“I need some spice”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I'm afraid I might have low sex drive and I'd really like to do something about it. I'm a 29-year-old female, so I feel like this shouldn't be something I have to deal with for quite a while still. I'm in a committed relationship with my boyfriend and love him very much and am very much attracted to him. We've been together about a year and a half, so I don't feel like things should be 'boring' yet. I've noticed in other relationships I've been in the same thing has occurred, it seems like once the newness wears off I back off very much sexually. And it's not something I do by choice, but I've heard it from multiple partners it's like I lose interest or they don't seem to satisfy me like they once did. It makes me feel terrible, because I do still want my boyfriend very much, I like being able to satisfy him and don't want him to start doubting himself or the way I feel about him because of my stand off-ish behavior. I'm about 17 weeks pregnant so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it, but we even seemed to have problems before that. To the point that we get in arguments over it, and to me I find that silly or frustrating to be fighting over something like sex. I can understand his anger because when we first got together we were in bed almost all the time. I feel bad since he tries to engage me and turn me on by asking what my fantasies are, what can he do to get me in the mood etc. I find my mind completely blank and it drives me crazy. I've always been very open-minded sexually, but I do feel like I've gotten boring myself. Any time he wants to try something new I don't resist, how do you know if you like something if you don't try it is how I look at it. But I can't come up with any ideas on my own, it's very upsetting to feel so 'vanilla', the last thing I want to do is let my partner down and have sexual problems in the relationship. I know the problem is me, I just don't know what to do about it and really need some help.
User article | pornography, masturbation, sexless
“The end of an affair”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Two years ago, I became great friends with someone I met through work. A year into our friendship, it became more and we started an affair. We are the same age, both married, and have been for over 25 years each. We both have children. For my part the intimacy in my marriage disappeared about 9 years ago and although on the whole we get along I have missed the sex and have often felt sad and lonely. For years I tried to repair and discuss our issues but now I have lost the desire for my husband which I suppose lead to the affair. I can honestly say that I wasn't looking for anything outside of my marriage, I just shut down the feelings I had. When the affair began I confess to having very little guilt about sharing my body with someone new. Sex happened only a handful of times in the first 6 months and not at all from then on but I quickly fell in love. I never made any demands on him to leave his wife and family, honestly, I would have continued as we were happily. However for my lover, the guilt was to much and after 12 months I ended it as I couldn't bear to see his emotional struggle any longer. I'm struggling to cope with the loss of the relationship which is not helped by him wanting to stay friends. I now feel such a myriad of emotions, grief, loss, anger, jealousy and finally guilt... it took its time but there it is. However much I try to move on and forget him, I cannot seem to. The loss of my friend is such a physical pain that I sometimes feel I might curl up and die from it. I keep trying to look at the situation from outside with as rational a view as I can and whilst I know my faults and his it doesn't seem to take away the grief I feel. I haven't shared any of this with another living soul except for him which is why I'm on here I guess, I don't know what I'm looking for, possibly absolution or advice on how to move forward? Please be kind, I don't know if I could cope with outside hate, it's pretty tough from the inside already.
User article | someone else, emotional affair
“Mind games”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I took a trip to Germany and came back by bus. I didn't notice at first, but the guy sitting next to me kept trying to sneak his eyes on me. He stops in London I suppose. I didn't even dare to look at him because I have a boyfriend. I tried several times to see how he looks like tho, I couldn't get a full picture of him. I'm afraid that when I acted like I notice him, he would make a move on me and I don't know what to do. He hopped off the bus staring right straight at me wanting to talk to me or something, but I walked away acting like I don't notice him. He's pretty attractive, and I can sense that he's interested in me by the way he tried to get my attention. This is so weird of me. Sometimes I don't even know what I am doing why I would I feel the way I feel when I already have a boyfriend. A part of me wanna know him while my whole knows this isn't right at all. I just wanna release my unfinished business mind game so that I can just move on living my life like it used to be. I feel uneasy when I get attracted to him so easily even though we don't even know each other. If you would by any chance see this. I just wanna say I notice you, and you look like a daydream, but it's just unreal to be true....
User article | someone else, emotional affair
“My boyfriend lied about his special friend”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Sorry, it’s long! I am 37, separated with no kids and my boyfriend is 31, separated, with two kids from his ex-wife and his first born from a relation he had prior to meeting his ex-wife. We started dating nine months ago… First two weeks were like a fairy tale then he had to leave for work (he works offshore on four weeks rotation). We kept in contact when he was away, and video called each other every day. He came back and we went for a short holiday together, it was when he said I love you first (after just seven weeks). We seemed to be so intertwined with each other. We gave a lot of attention to each other, missed each other etc… It was such a lovely period where we were both falling in love with each other like crazy. He seemed very happy and according to him, the happiest he’s been as he finally found an understanding, beautiful woman who he can be open with. Before we met, after he separated from his wife (he separated seven months before he actually met me, and it was from her side, she stopped loving him, and he was totally devastated) he started going out with his sister (40) and her best friend (48) who is also a family friend. This woman and my bf had built a certain bond between them and they became ‘special friends’. I knew about her and the first time I actually met her during a family wedding, two months into dating, I immediately felt/realised she liked him from the way she greeted me, which was a ‘hi’ and she turned away. When I asked him about it he said that she does have a soft spot for him, but they are just friends. I accepted it and It stopped there. I never told him not to message her or anything… she was just a female friend and he seemed to be head over heals in love with me. Roll on five months from the beginning of our relationship and he went for a guys’ night out with his boy-friends. At a point, in the beginning of the night, he sent me a selfie of him with his two boy-friends, on a table at this particular lounge/restaurant drinking Rose wine. The following day I asked him how the night has been and he briefly explained the night; at a point just mentioned they bumped into his sister and her friend. Five days later I see a picture on FB of his sister with her friend, dining at the same place as him, having rose wine as well, possibly on the same table. I asked him about it and there is where all the lies came coming out. At first he told me they bumped into them and decided to dine with them and later he said that he found out last minute his sister was going out to the same place so decided to join them. (1. please note that this is a busy restaurant and it’s not easy to go and get a table for 5 without reservation, 2. If he had planned to have a guys’ night out, I don’t think it’s on for him to do last minute changes and meet his girl-friends together with his mates) Then, even the details of the night were getting different from what he had briefly explained. I couldn’t believe him and was thinking that he deliberately hid from me since there was this ‘special’ friend of his. He kept on insisting that they are just friends and nothing ever happened between them. Two weeks later he ‘confessed’ after I told him to tell me the truth, that they had agreed upon this night only a day before and he did not tell me because 1. I had other plans anyway, 2. They were planning to go clubbing (just the boys) after they’re done from this lounge. I decided to believe him but my instinct knew there was something I don’t know. When I asked why he didn’t tell me immediately that they met them and dined on the same table and he even sent a picture misleading me, he told me that his ex-wife was very jealous and not understanding and he would hide to her in order not to create any arguments. So, his first reaction was that of hiding, even though there was nothing. After that night, I met this woman twice. First time during a family picnic where she tried to make a fool out of me, being rude to me and ignoring me etc etc.. I spoke to him about it and he got the excuse that she’s like that with everyone especially until she gets to know a person. Then I met her again on his mum’s birthday dinner, we were only five of us on a table and again she totally shut me out. Especially since these incidents happened, I wasn’t happy, I was getting more and more anxious, feeling that there is/was something I really need to know. I asked him to tell me what there is/was between them several times and he always insisted there’s nothing but they’re just good friends. At one point he told me she finds him very hot, another time he told me that they had mutually agreed that they cannot possibly be with each other, at other times he tells me that he isn’t even attracted to her. I couldn’t believe him, I was hearing too many contradictions and lies. For the past 3 months, whenever her name comes up, I used to ask him about her, hear ‘lies’ and get anxious. He couldn’t keep up with my anxiety because it was because of him. He was telling me that there is nothing else that I don’t know and to please stop talking about her as there really is nothing, that this is getting out of hand and that he had nothing else to say or do about her to reassure me. I tried to shut up as much as I could, even though my anxiety was killing me. I wasn’t trusting him. I didn’t want to push him away, nagging about the same thing, but then I couldn’t hold it any longer. Last week I was really anxious and after a conversation about her, I asked him to show me her chats! At first he did not want to, he told me that if he does so, he’s going to resent me, then he told me that by doing so he would go down the same road he was with his wife, and finally he told me ‘ok, I’ll show them to you, but not now, when you are calm because now you will interpret everything wrong.’ He then tried using his mobile, telling me that he’s just scrolling and didn’t want me near him. I knew he was trying to delete messages… At a point I snatched it from his hand and I found out very playful conversations, not every day, but with sexual innuendos. He sent him her selfies and he sent her his pictures including shirtless pics with his abs showing. He told her stuff like, ‘sexy and a naughty devil’s icon’ after one of the selfies. Or once she said something after he sent her a shirtless pics and then he went ‘and I haven’t even touched you’. Or she sends him ‘missing you’ or ‘thinking of you’ or she sends him loads of hearts and kisses and stuff. These mainly happened during the first 3 months of us together. One day, two months into our dating, she texted him in the morning ‘thanks for the surprise’ to which he answered ‘that was my plan, dear. I just landed in…. ’ He was on his way to work and I had just dropped him off at the airport and he had just left me a loving card on my bedside table before he left – when I asked him about it, he couldn’t even remember what the surprise was. It was also very clear there were some messages deleted but he kept on denying this. They also had a video chat on one particular night, when he was off-shore and he was feeling down. I also found out on the messages that they had agreed on that night out, a good 3 weeks in advance! I was mad and furious… I grabbed my bags and left! To be fair, these messages had stopped 3-4 months ago, when this thing of his night out happened and I was suspecting there’s something. Since then, there were only a couple of normal messages (one liners with no hearts and kisses). He is now trying to explain that there was absolutely nothing between them and that is just the way they talk and joke with each other. He told me that he had stopped everything the minute he thought he was going to lose me and he never told me the whole truth because he didn’t want to hurt me or lose me. He was afraid to tell me to go out with them because he knew how she is and wanted us (me and her) to get to know each other before we all go out together. He’s begging me to stay, telling me that he never cheated on me and that he loves me. That he never meant to hurt me and that he’s utterly sorry for what happened and for how he made me feel. He is not eating and sleeping. I told him I need to move on but deep down I don’t know what I should do. What is worrying me the most, is not the kind of relationship they had, even though those were not appropriate messages at all, but the fact that no matter how many times I asked him, no matter how bad with anxiety he used to see me, he never came clean about her. He lied and lied and was never vulnerable enough to come clean. If he did, I would have probably been mad for a short while, tried to understand and appreciate the fact that he’s owning up to his mistakes and perhaps I could see a real man in front of me. But now all I’m seeing is someone who was hiding from me and lying to me! These last three months, he stayed home because the company stopped all contracts and will resume work again in a month. He spent ALL evenings with me, including weekends – it was his decision not to go out with friends at night. We used to sleep together every night, either at his house or at my house. Sometimes he also drove me to work. We were inseparable. We loved being with each other. We did everything together. When he had his kids, once a week, we used to take all 3 of them out to nice places and spaces suitable for them, I loved them and they loved me. He loved that fact and told me plenty of times that I’m much of a better parent then their own mothers. He mentioned several times that he had never received such love and care from his gf and her family. Even though I was trying to build my trust back in him after that incident, I loved him with all my heart and so did my family. Our sex was great and he seemed very happy with me. He used the flaunt me with everyone and tell them I’m the apple of his eye. He told me that I’m now his life and that he won’t live without me. I am now so confused! What shall I do? Shall I forget and go back with him or shall I just move on? He promised me he wouldn’t talk to her anymore, even if it means he opt out of family do’s, because of her. But I’m scared. I’m scared he’d lie to me again if something else is to happen – not just with this woman. Also, I’m thinking that if there really was nothing, what he was doing was to get attention from another woman, which I don’t like, especially considering it was done during the first months, when we were falling in love with each other and when he was telling me the most beautiful of words. I think this is a huge sign of immaturity or that he’s a perv. I’m so confused… I don't think I should consider going back with him. Will I be able to ever trust him again??
Ask the community | someone else, emotional affair
“Why doesn't my husband want me?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been married for 12 years. My husband and I are happy, we do not have a perfect marriage but who does? From the start of our marriage we never had much of a sex life, even as newly weds. We would average maybe four times a month on a good month. He is not very affectionate toward me either. I had never felt attractive in my marriage, I am always the one who initiated sex and most of the time I got turned down. He does not kiss me and never performed oral sex for me at all, but expects it from me every time and sometimes just that for him and nothing at all for me. Later I found out he was watching porn A LOT. This broke my heart, because he never wanted me. About nine years and two sweet daughters later I found out that he was cheating - it was a one night thing. He swore that it meant nothing, in order for me to stay I demanded he tell me eVerything. I also found the other woman and talked to her about it. The stories matched up - apparently the plan was to cheat with her but he could not get an erection despite her best efforts. I asked him if he had kissed her (which he never kisses me) and he had - not only that but because he couldn't perform he gave her oral sex! He never does this for me! Well of course i was very upset and left him. He was devastated and apologised and said he would be a better husband and do all those things for me blah blah blah. So for my children and the fact that I love him we worked it out. He has done much better - he still will not kiss me but he will occasionally do oral. And he is more affectionate and I can honestly see that he is trying more than he ever has. Our sex life was great, 5-6 times a week and much more passion than ever before. But for the past two weeks he has not touched me, despite my attempts. When I asked him about it he said he was just in a down spiral (I forgot to mention he has cycling bi-polar disorder) and that his sex drive decreases when he has a down phase, so i tried to understand and be supportive, but I checked his phone last night and his history was absolutely full of porn! So his sex drive is decreased but he can watch porn and not want to have sex with me? I do not understand this and it makes me feel disgusting! I even offered for us to watch together but he did not want to do that. My body has changed a lot since having our children, and he knows how insecure I am about it. He says my body has nothing to do with it it's just his bipolor decreasing his libido. But i don't know about that seems like if libido was decreased it would be decreased for everything not just your wife, and be perfectly fine for porn. Can anyone help me understand this?
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation, sexless