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Everything posted by pnwesterner

  1. Listen, if I had been dating someone seriously for a year, and my significant other's came to visit him for a full month (and keeping in mind that they may not visit again for another year at least, depending on the visa situation and their financial situation), and my SO refused to introduce me to them during that month, I would feel horribly disrespected. Cultural differences are what they are, but if his feelings for you are as strong as he claims, he should have the balls to stand up for what he believes in. Now, he has to sneak around behind his parents' backs and keep you a secret, in the same way as a married man would have an affair. Have some self respect. You don't deserve that.*significant other's parents came... Typo
  2. I've decided to take the advice of my friends and a few of you and not send our conversations to the boyfriend and her father. I'm not sure how effective any of that would be, and I don't want to risk making the situation at work worse. Until last week when we had the argument, there was always a thought at the back of my mind that I could forgive her and that she would forgive me and everything would be happy again. Now that that is gone, I'm actually a lot happier than I have been for a long time. I guess any resolution is better than no resolution. She's already been down this path with this guy before and her parents refused to even meet him. Nothing has happened since then that would make them change their tune, and she will listen to what they say, even at the expense of her own happiness. I don't feel anger towards her. I feel pity that she can't think for herself (not talking about marriage, which is obviously a big deal), even in the most basic decisions. I am happy to be finished with her, and looking forward to the time when I don't have to feign respect at work.
  3. I work with this girl. I have to see her nearly everyday. Where her parents stand, she has half a brain. If they demand that she comes home, she will probably cave. And that means a more positive work environment for me. That is what I hope to achieve. Sending the texts to the boyfriend is admittedly less effective.
  4. So, it came to a head tonight. I sent her a really long text message saying how embarrassed I was, and how terrible it makes me feel that she lied to me the whole time about not having feelings for him. She admitted to having feelings for him and that they had something special. She denied lying to me until I quoted her texts back to her, at which point she admitted to that too and said that she didn't want to talk about it or to talk to me at all. She's hurt me terribly. I'm giving serious thought to sending emails to the ex-now-actually-boyfriend with our text conversations and to her father talking about all the 'interesting' things she's been up to here in the States. He and her mother would most likely be on the next flight here. I'll give myself a few days to think on it.
  5. Funny thing: the ex-boyfriend who was living in Istanbul was sent by his company to New York for training. He took a flight from there to Seattle on his own dime to visit her and their friends this past weekend, and they spent the whole time going to romantic destinations around the city. Makes me sick to my stomach. Does that sound like an action from someone who wants a platonic relationship? Her words during the relationship were 'I realize that I never loved him. I just felt pity for him.' I was right to question her all along. I just want her out of my life.
  6. It's been several months now and I figured I should give an update rather than leave everyone hanging in suspense. Not long after my post, she and I had several breakups and makeups. The day I posted, she picked me up from the airport, and as we were laying in bed, about to go to sleep, she told me she had planned to break up with me that day, but changed her mind when she saw me and hugged me. This signaled to me that she was having a lot of the same doubts as I was, and that there was no chance of a future. A few days later, I told her I wanted to end it and laid all my cards on the table: her deception, her dangling the carrot of meeting her parents, her hypocrisy when it came to criticism, her inability to give or receive sexual pleasure, her unashamed nationalism and racism, her obsession with money and status, her cultural insularity, and the overall baggage associated with having such a relationship: everything. She took it to mean that I didn't want to try anymore and that I was blaming her for all our problems, which wasn't the case. She also accused me of breaking up with her because I wanted to end it on my terms, which was partially true. Anyway, I caved. I loved her too much and took her back. Two days later, she decided to break it off with me. This time it was on better terms, and we said that if we could give 'us' a break, there might be a time when we could be better for each other: that it was an issue of timing. We were each in a transition period and were each at the beginnings of our careers, not knowimg anything about the future. The ambiguity killed us as much as anything. Like fools, we kept seeing each other, kept pushing the envelope, kept falling back into easy patterns, having no control over ourselves. The tension kept bubbling to the surface and we both said terrible things to each other. I told her I didn't want to speak with her or see her anymore, which she got super pissed about. (Going back to that habit of staying in touch with ex-boyfriends again.) Anyway, we still work together, and after briefly resolving our feelings of anger, there is now almost constant tension between us. She made it a rule that we should never be alone together outside of work. We are snapping at each other. I don't respect her total subservience to her parents. Every decision she has made has been because she didn't want to deal with the pressure her parents would put her under. If she didn't want to fight for me, then she wasn't worth it, upbringing or not. The more I find out about the culture, the less I respect it. Talking to her was like talking to somebody with her mother sitting on one shoulder and her father on the other, whispering in her ear what she should do. She is weak. And now I hate and resent her for it because I still love her in spite of it. I no longer believe east and west should mix. Her parents are coming to the country in a few months to visit her. They will be living with her during that time. I fully expect her to announce that she is moving back to Turkey once they get here.
  7. I met a Turkish woman in America four months ago. We've been dating exclusively for three months. She's been in the country for five to six years going to school, but got a job semi-recently where she intends to stay for several years. She told me that until she got the job, she was planning to return to Turkey and was close to buying her plane ticket back. More recently, she said that I'm the reason why she wants to stay, despite the fact that she (obviously) misses her family, friends, and home. We're deeply in love and we've discussed marriage and children and what that means to both of us, as well as the implication of meeting her parents, i.e. either we get engaged in the near future or we break up. I'm gainfully employed, as is she. We each have what are considered prestigious positions in Turkish culture. Any kids we had would be well-supported and well-educated. I have no intention of ever permanently moving to Turkey, except possibly in retirement. There are no companies there for me to work in my chosen field; it really is as simple as that. She's aware of my desires and we've discussed the idea of living in Europe since neither of us really like the direction my country is headed. She was raised to distrust Americans and has unashamed prejudices against cultures that aren't from the Mediterranean, which I'm trying my best to break through. She said she would have never considered the possibility of ever being in a relationship with an American until she met me. She was raised to think we all get divorced at the drop of a hat and that we aren't close to our families (that our parents kick us out of their homes as soon as we turn 18). This may be true of the very poor and our celebrities, but I'm very close to my fully-intact family, even if I don't see them often due to where I work and where they live (it was a career-making job offer and they were supportive of it.) She said that I'm starting to change her mind about Americans, and that if she were to meet more people like me, then she might be able to have some of her ideas changed. Up until now, she has only really associated with Turkish people who live in the US, and since moving to this new city, has only made an effort to connect with other Turkish people. I'm an atheist raised by Christians, while she's a non-practicing Muslim raised by devout Muslims (her mother's family is especially conservative). Her parents had an arranged marriage and had only met once before the engagement and subsequent wedding. She says they don't really love each other. She says she wants to marry for love. I know that she wants any kids we have to be raised with Muslim beliefs, if only to instill in them the belief in a god and to satisfy her distant relatives. I told her that any child of mine will learn to study their religion and many other religions as well. She agreed that that was a reasonable course of action. Before she came to the US, her parents tried to arrange a wedding for her, which she refused. In college, she had two Turkish boyfriends that she wanted her parents to meet. They denied the first one for a reason that I haven't heard. The second, they refused to meet. She followed their wishes and she broke up with both of them. She keeps seesawing on whether she would go against their wishes in my case, depending on how we're doing that particular week and for a multitude of other reasons. The sense I get is that she says that we would be together in spite of them because she knows that's what I want to hear, but when it really comes down to it, she'll fold under their pressure. She has a habit of agreeing to do things and later going back on her word, which is a source of considerable conflict between us. For example, she broke up with her last boyfriend within the last year and he kept texting her, saying hurtful things to her, and I can only assume poisoning her against me. I told her that she needed to break off contact. At first, she refused to cut off contact, saying she didn't want to burn her bridges the way she has in the past, since they were best friends and were together for so long. It was damaging our relationship and I brought it up several more times, during which time she promised to stop talking to him, though she's broken that promise twice already. If I had to guess, I would think that she's still texting with him, but I'll have no way of knowing until she brings him up in conversation or unless I directly ask. I don't want to ask (or have to ask, for that matter), as it will probably start another argument over it. This is the main thing that makes me doubt her feelings for me. I've been feeling handcuffed in our relationship, like I can't argue with her about our cultural differences or criticize her flaws at all. She doesn't hesitate to insult my culture, trivialize it or make sweeping generalizations about it, but as soon as I breathe a word of what's wrong with hers, she plays the victim and says that I'm trying to Americanize her and am forcing her to compromise her values, never changing anything about myself in the process. I feel that I'm always forced to give up ground to appease her, that she says she's changing herself but (as I mentioned above) I just don't see the effect. And then there's the sexual issue, which I know people are going to connect to the previous paragraph, but please believe me when I tell you that they are separate problems. I have slept with my share of women before. She had not done anything besides kissing and light petting until she met me. She told me at the outset of the relationship that "sex is off the table" and that as long as I didn't hide it from her, I could sleep with other women. I insisted that I wasn't going to cheat on her with other women, to which she said "It's not cheating if you don't hide it from me." I haven't been unfaithful, and I refuse to do that. She's suggested it multiple times, and I recently made her promise to not bring it up and again. She is a very passionate, beautiful girl and we've gone beyond her normal limits in moments of passion, but she's still a virgin. She feels very guilty afterwards, even though she says she likes it during. She pushes me away emotionally and picks fights with me when she feels guilty about it, which really hurts me. My worry here is that even if we do end up getting married, the shame and guilt about sex that she had instilled in her during her upbringing still isn't going to go away. Even mentioning some acts, not even suggesting that we do them at all, makes her squeamish and draw back in horror. I'm not a disgusting pig; she says that she feels intense desire for me, which I believe from the way she acts around me, but I feel like this squeamishness and all-around reluctance is something that I'll have to fight against our entire lives. She told her sister about us and how we've been getting more serious. She apparently doesn't approve for the reason that she doesn't think the relationship will last, that I would divorce her at the first sign of trouble, and that the differences in our two cultures would be too much to overcome. I still think she doubts my feelings because of this. We're both very stubborn, very proud, and very intelligent individuals. We each want to take the lead in this relationship, and that leads to the most strife. I feel that she expects me to be a doormat and as someone who for a long time has valued his independence above all else, I'm not inclined at all to take on the submissive role. Can anyone with an objective view say whether these problems can be overcome? Is the gulf between the cultures too big? Do I have any chance at all of receiving her parents' approval for marriage, even if we go forward with it?
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