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Being Human, or Being an A**hole. Life is so hard.



Sep 1, 2015
I'm sorry, this will be long. If you bear with me it's appreciated. No problem if not!

I have a long history of BPD and OCD. I have had worries about being unfaithful, guilt, cheating and loving someone else since I was 15.

I'm male, 31 and in a loving relationship of 3 years +.

In the last few months we have had quite a few issues and almost broke up. Sex has always been a stumbling block for me (partly BPD related: either super intense and dangerous, or almost stagnant or non-existent when in a committed relationship).

I love my partner, but I am not blind to our issues and problems and the fact we very nearly parted ways a month or so ago. We handled things in a mature, calm way and we both seem determined to give it more time. We are realistic, but also do not want to throw away what we had. There are numerous underlying issues: my OCD, BPD, the loss of her Father when she was 15, her own mental health.

As I have always tried to know EXACTLY how I am feeling at all times and really analyse my thoughts and the REASONS behind them (heya rumination!), I am well aware of the rabbit holes of guilt and how easy it is to fall down them. As such, when in relationships I have always lived in an unhealthy no-female bubble. So, if I find someone attractive, I won't speak to them. I won't be alone with people. I will worry their smell is on me so I shower before touching my partner.

I am aware of this and in recent years (and especially since our near breakup over the last few months), I have tried to push past this, to beat the fear and accept that my high moral compass may be slightly twisted and that from time to time, I may fuck up. I may slightly flirt. I may occasionally indulge in thinking about someone else, wonder what it would be like to be with them, and accept me weird worries about having feelings for someone else as fleeting crushes which will pass. I have tried to take on board the years of CBT. It's hard. Even typing that is hard.

However, I am now worried that I can't tell if I'm being a 'good CBT student', or an asshole using that as an excuse to be a jerk.

As as person, I am a little bit of a flirt, but in a harmless way. Never remotely sexual or presumptuous, but more enjoying making people laugh or being seen as self-deprecating. In the past, I suppose that was my style (urgh) and what I used to endear myself to people, either as friends or romantically. I have always disliked myself, so that was my niche - my way of being myself.

Last year, someone joined my company who I felt instantly very attracted to. I had never spoken to the person before, they were just objectively very desirable. I of course have had this issue before, but this felt different, from the first instant. I am aware it is almost certainly my OCD picking up with something and running with it (I do not believe in love at first sight). I never engaged with the person in an inappropriate way - never accepted social media requests from them, nor spoke to them socially about things.

This person and I may or may not have things in common. She's attractive, probably into a lot of the same interests as me etc. But I didn't really care about that. I would find myself flirting slightly (perhaps flirting is the wrong word - subtly 'showing off') around them, but no more than I have before with others. I never had any interest in trying to form a meaningful relationship with the person at all.

Today I had to have a one on one discussion with the person, and I had been worried about it for weeks. I wanted to cancel, I wanted to get other people involved. But I didn't. I went through with it, which I was proud about.

The trouble is, I had built this up into such a massive thing, that the moment I sat down with them, I felt this 'presence'. It's only because I had built it up in my head so much, but adrenaline etc was running high. I felt like I was in the presence of something greater, almost forbidden, which is completely stupid.

I couldn't help noticing how attractive this person was still and I couldn't stop focusing on it and how I felt about it. That's fine, I understand it, even if I don't like it. However, I noticed this person had self-harm scars like I do. This started an entirely new circle of thoughts (when I was younger and much more unwell, I would only want to date others who suffered - leading to very poisonous and dark relationships from both sides).

Suddenly, this wasn't just someone I worked with who I found attractive. They were similar to me. They probably understood things. We spoke about work, completely normally. People were around. We had a joke, like I do with most people (attractive or not). Because of the scars, I felt that I could open up more. I made a few self-deprecating comments, comments about being unhappy in a way to allude to the fact I understand mental health. Urgh. Why? That I suppose is an olive branch and flirting. The intent behind it.

But I started thinking "oh, I wonder what it would be like to be with this person". "In another world, perhaps we would be suited". "It's a shame I am with someone so I can't explore that".

At first I thought these are normal thoughts that everyone has from time to time. They aren't good - of course, but as long as you don't act on them, that's ok. Relationships are peaks and troughs. They have highs and lows. I'm just in a low.

But now I feel wracked with guilt and, more than that, just sad.

I would like to think that the last few months of my relationship struggling is part of the reason I thought like this. I have spent 3 years cutting out any contact with females I feel I may be suited to, or could have a crush on, that the last month or so of having a reduced relationship with my partner (her staying at her's a couple of nights a week, us taking a step back etc) just means that I am acting 'human', and not this weird restricted person.

I don't really know what I'm expecting to get from this. If anything, I'm just ranting.

I WANT to make things work with my partner, but I am also ok with the fact that they may NOT, even though it is heartbreaking and I love her. I do love her. We just both struggle. Being realistic about it is the only way I can get through. I certainly want to keep trying though and although the thought of being single and then getting to know this other person (who probably doesn't even give a shit about me by the way - in the nicest way!!!!) is tempting in a 'grass is greener' sort of way, I have no plans to try and contact them, speak to them any more than I have to etc.

My trouble is, I'm naturally open, am a bit of a flirt and enjoy making people laugh. Our paths don't cross too much though, so it's fine.


I am worried I need to tell my partner.
That this 15 minute chat at my desk means I have been unfaithful.
That this is all an excuse for me just being an asshole.
That Christmas will be ruined.
That I can't do anything fun now because it will be tainted in my betrayal. I can't listen to music. Play a video game. Text a friend. Buy Christmas presents.
Am I just being human?
Have I crossed a line?
Am I boring you? Yes.

If you have read this far, thank you. If you wish to reply or extend an olive branch (even if it is to call me scum), then thank you.

This makes me feel so crap. And I just want to cut myself so badly for the first time in about 3 years (I won't, don't worry). But I just want to punish myself.

Being human is hard, being in a relationship is hard. Having a twisted moral compass borders on arrogance and is hard.

Much love to all of the strugglers out there.



Well-known member
Sep 22, 2008
The fact that this bothers you shows that you are a decent person.
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2019
You haven't done anything wrong - you certainly haven't crossed a line.

This person in the office has become a crush - crushes are powerful, painful and overwhelming at times. You don't know much about her - your imagination is portraying her as the perfect person to connect with you.

I genuinely don't believe any good could come of telling your partner - nor do I feel it is significant enough to be 'reported' to her. People everywhere have these feelings and fascinations for co-workers...your sense of shame is entirely unjustified.

Stop being so hard on yourself. x


Sep 1, 2015
That's true, thank you.