View Full Version : please help- relationship issues
I am a female 3rd dan blackbelt instructor in Tang Soo Do. Often we tell our students that when they walk on to the floor they should leave all of their problems outside the door. Clean their mind and spirit so they can get the most out of training. So what do you do when your "problem" is standing on the floor next to you?
12 years ago I met my long-standing boyfriend through Tang Soo Do. Today, he is the owner of the karate school and I happen to be the senior student and instructor. As expected, there have been many women students and parents who have attempted to move in on my boyfriend and I think I have been pretty understanding throughout the years. Generally, the women move on to other prospects when they realize he is taken. Some are still student at the school.
There have also been many "needy" or "high maintenance" male and female students who have needed personal attention from my Sah Bum Nim and boyfriend throughout the years...
So, what do you do when there is a needy female student who has a crush on your boyfriend/instructor and she continues to pursue him for 6 years?! This particular female is married -I assume unhappily- with children. She is always the last one to leave the school(he has to kick her out). She never trains unless my boyfriend is teaching. She calls him on his cell phone multiple times a week(he doesn't answer most of them). Strangers have told me that this women has a huge crush on her teacher(not knowing that I was the teacher girlfriend). Karate friends have told her to knock it off. She is crazy. What can I do? My boyfriend will not "cut her off" -she is his student(and friend) and I understand that but it drives me NUTS!!! I am not a violent person. Every time I see this women I want to knock her lights out! The worst thing about it is that I let her affect my training. When she is in class I catch myself getting angry....
In one more year I will get my Masters belt. I love the martial arts. It is part of my life and always will be. I love what it stands for -respect, confidence, and peacefulness. I have grown in many ways though the martial arts. I like the person I am today, and I am always striving to become a better person. It frustrates me that I let this women bother me. She has been bothering me for 6 years. I hate this. I am the senior instructor at my school and I am umbarrassed when my feelings show through in class. My life is not perfect but I am content with it. I would really like to find a way to rid myself of these feelings before I get my master's belt. When I put on that belt I would like to be at peace.
I have never said anything to this women about her behavior-quite frankly I think she might enjoy it if I confronted her. It would make her feel like she is more important than she is. But I wonder if I need to confront her to get past this.
I have talked this to death with my boyfriend... I don't believe he is unreasonable... although he is tired of hearing about it. He may be friendlier with her than I would like, but it is not any more friendly than with any of the other students.
I have thought about switching schools for years. The topic offends my boyfriend,but he would let me go if I insisted. But hey this is my school and my students almost as much as it is his. He is my Sah bum nim as well as my boyfriend. I know that other schools have similiar wife/husband boyfriend/girfriend instructor/student relationships. It is not ideal -but lets face sh?*> happens.
Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have any advice for me?
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I am unknowledgeable in dealing with a situation similiar to the one you have stated above, good luck to you.
hmmm tricky...and you probably wont want to hear this, but you are right its YOUR problem, so you need to put the situation into some kind of perspective. I had a similar, although not exactly the same situation where I was the target of the teachers partner, who assumed that because I spent so much time with my teacher that I must be chasing him.......it is just as bad to be on the receiving end let me tell you!
part of the problem is that your boyfriend is in a position of power, and that can be very attractive to some particularly 'needy' women. Why did she start training in the first place? Was it to perhaps gain some self esteem from her assumed unhappy marriage? The success/failure of the problem depends 100% on how you deal with it. Reading you post I would say you are not yet ready for your masters ...... the handling of this fellow student seems like the biggest test of all.....
I love what it stands for -respect, confidence, and peacefulness but you don't seem to be winning on any of those counts. So you have an underlying fear that your teacher/boyfriend will choose this woman over you.....do you have confidence that you have the full support of your boyfriend? I think not and I think that by not establishing some rules with this woman he is making you feel undermined.
She never trains unless my boyfriend is teaching that is bad manners, and a problem that the teacher should be sorting.......it should be equal for all students.
It frustrates me that I let this women bother me. She has been bothering me for 6 years. I hate this. then its time to let it go, 6 years is a helluva long time to be carrying this baggage with you.
When I put on that belt I would like to be at peace. if only life were that straightforward. A peace of cloth around you waist will not change your emotional reactions to situations...the way you deal with each situation is what makes you a master, having confidence in yourself, understanding that everyone is at a different stage in their own personal development.
You know what I tend to do with people I don't like much?......make friends with them.....you know if she really is unhappy at home, perhaps a supportive female Friend is what she really needs.....
Thank you for your input...
I have seen many a person earn their black belts in "karate". To me, whether it be your black belt or your Masters it should be one in "life". On the outside many of the students and parents think I am the greatest-they have me up on a "pedestal"...in fact many mistakenly assumed that I was up for my Master this year...
Anyway I don't think I am ready for my Master either. You are correct, this may be the biggest challenge for me yet. -and its such a silly thing.
Be friends with her???-it has crossed my mind -unfortunately I fear that if I were even slightly friendly, this crazy lady would have no problem stopping by our house to "visit" me and my boyfriend. I don't want her at my home. Its bad enough she's at my school. She has no sense of boundaries.
So, I guess for now I will just continue to smile, say hello and train. Although I would love to confront her I think its not the right thing to do-ummm and its not my place to do it -which is why I have resisted all these years. I just wish this lady would find someone other than my boyfriend to cling to.
if you have any other thoughts I'd love to hear them
Is it me?. Did my cop senses go in full alert? I see signs of a stalker.
As a complete stranger perhaps I can offer some advice. She's married. If the instructor knows she is seeking more than a teacher/student relationship he needs to stop it now. End of discussion. Weather he looses a student or not is immaterial. The right thing to do is obvious. Your married. Goodbye. Good luck.
I think your boyfreind needs to be the one setting the boundaries. He really needs to ensure that she understands the teacher/pupil relationship and that there are certain lines she should not cross......I fear that if it comes from you it will just go in one ear and out the other.
The word "Stalker" has come up in conversation previously
My boyfriend has set some boundaries -this women pushes the limits for sure. I recognize that he also suffers from a common teacher syndrome in that he wants to save the world....therefore helping needy students makes him feel good-even if they have a touch of psycho in them.
For a long time I thought I was the one who was crazy(in reference to maybe I was being overly paranoid about this women's intentions) -overtime I discovered through the grape vine that I was not being overly paranoid...in fact one of my close friends revealed to me that she changed schools because she felt uncomfortable with the way my boyfriend was or was not setting boundaries with this lady...my friend is a little more feminist than me... others have also told me her behavior is over the top... I was relieved at least to not feel like I was the crazy one. My boyfriend has had many other friends who were involved with the school-perhaps like you were with your instructor who have not bothered me...mostly because those other friends/women have enough class to chill out, go home, and respect some boundaries. Some of them have become my best friends. This lady flirts and clings in front of my face consistently every darn class(and after class). Very disrespectful to me. which is why I'd like to punch her(sometimes). But I guess this is life. Although my boyfriend is quick to correct my behavior(and sometimes I deserve it) at the school and lecture me on how it affects all the students, I don't think he realizes that the students are also watching him and how he deals with this lady--it has affected the way many of the women in the school view him. I have pointed this out-but as you say in one ear and out the other for the most part...in the past couple years he has set many more boundaries(maybe he heard me-or someone else-or maybe he just figured out shes a little psycho). Its late -I'm going to bed now. Thank you everyone for your input!
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Oh I can't believe I am going to respond to this post .........
Candace, IMO this woman is trying to push your buttons. You can choose to let her get to you or not, except that sometimes with the right chemistry that is not possible. If it is not possible for you to let it go and you truly want to pop her in the nose, I would say you should leave and train somewhere else.
#1 it is always better to walk away and avoid violence.
When BF asks why you left, tell him why. You would rather move on than have a bad result and the woman's actions were affecting the entire school and reflecting poorly on everyone (including him). BF can then decide if he wants to correct the situation on his own or not. This would be much better than an ultimatum which would reflect poorly on you. Just calm and mature like move on. Your attitude should be you are there to instruct and learn and all the hormones were just getting in the way. Any guy with a half a brain (some of us do have almost half a brain) would be pushed to make a decision we probably should have made way before it got to this point.
Your boyfriend should get rid of her...
I've experienced something similar, it is not fun. Try to do it peacefully and with respect, but it probably won't work...
It's like a cancer, the longer you leave it the more it spreads.
And yes, it did come to the point of bringing cops into it.
The similarities are unbelievable...
Menage a trois? :wink2:
But really, I think that the problem here is not you or the other lady in question (although she is the one causing the problems for you), but your BF.
He is the one holding the power in this "relationship". He can call the cops in anytime if need be or take out a restaining order.
It seems to me that your BF likes the attention this woman is giving him, otherwise he would have taken actions a long time ago. In fact any good instructor would have seen it coming a mile off.
I'm not saying that your BF is a bad instructor or has secret "special" feelings for the female. But I think that it is up to him to sort out the problem, seeing as he is the head instructor at your dojo.
Can you clarify the kind of needy / flirty things this other woman does in class?
Oh Boy...here we go..
I have seen this happen before. It is a clear, cut and dry case of setting and enforcing boundaries. It sounds like your BF is "letting" this happen,and it's not fair to expect you to "just understand" and ignore it.
The fact that she "clings and flirts" with him openly in class :eek: ,tells me that maybe he doesn't mind the attention and,while not welcoming it,he doesn't "put the clamp" on it either. It's a kind of "ignore it and it will go away" kind of response,which is clearly not effective.
This woman needs to be told in no uncertain terms to "get off him"! And if this is not enforced ALL the time,than maybe somebody's got to go. It's not fair to you to observe this type of "flirting" and be expected to sit on the sidelines. It has long passed the innocent stage and entered into ultimatum time IMO. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.
Your dude needs to firmly and kindly set his line. You need to firmly and politely set yours by telling him this.
Also, this may be the best education for you, believe it or not. How you tolerate/handle this and how you keep your composure is a wonderful (albeit frustrating) lesson.
You will have to face wierd things like this when you run your own club someday - even when you're 50, 60, whatever. It's good training on keeping your composure while asserting yourself.
Well, I've been sitting on this one to see what other perspectives are out there. Here is mine. From the information that's given, I think that your boyfriend is enjoying the power this is giving him. This other woman is all crazy because she wants something she can't have and you're all crazy because this other woman is flaunting herself and your boyfriend doesn't seem to want to stop it. That's a hell of an ego booster for a guy who likes to feed his ego. Why else would he not want to just put her in her place. Maybe he's just a nice guy and doesn't want to hurt her feelings, but then again, if he's such a nice guy, why isn't he respecting your feelings. Why do you think it's not your place to tell her to back off? Unless you and your boyfriend are not committed to only each other, she is basically honing in on your territory which gives you the right to say something. (However, I would do it calmly and in private the first time - IF it needs to be done again, I'd do it calmy in PUBLIC...but first I would tell him that he needs to take care of the situation and if he won't tell him YOU will). What do you have to lose? Him? Do you even want him if he can't even show common sense and respect for your feelings? I think it's your place because we all are responsible for our own happiness and if something is making you unhappy, it's up to you to take action (in an appropriate manner). Keep in mind that this is only how I see the situation from the info that's been given and I may be completely off, so take it as something to think about and make your own decisions. Good luck.
Do you trust your boyfriend? My wife's attractive (God knows what she's doing with me) and she gets hit on a lot. Not stalked, but hit on. Doesn't bother me. I know who she's going home with at the end of the night. It's like having a nice car; people can drool all they want, as long as they don't try to steal the keys.
By that same token, though. He should set boundaries. Nothing imposing. Just establish that their relationship is purely student/ teacher. Doesn't mean teachers can't be friendly with their students, just to be clear she shouldn't expect any more. He, as you have indicated, may not be ready to make that stand though.
Now if I were in a similar situation, my first reaction would be to take that person aside and let them know that you feel they're stepping in your space. Be firm, not crazy. Anytime you make the "You're Imposing on What's Mine" speech, try to keep it short. No great explanation. Just simple and direct to the point.
Nip it in the bud and beat her especially hard the next time the training/ sparring situation allows. May be childish, but it would be a nice exclamation point.
I wish you all the luck in the world and welcome to Budoseek!
For what it's worth......
Menage a trois? :wink2:
That sounds like a good solution that will make everybody happy.
That sounds like a good solution that will make everybody happy.
Not as happy as it would make me! :laugh:
I'm new to this website and didn't expect so many responses. I appreciate everyone's input- It was nice to see so many men respond -although I guess there are more men than women in the martial arts anyway.
As far as getting into details about what this lady actually does...we have more than one school and my boyfriend teaches more than one style... lets just say she has throughout the years developed an interest in everything he does and has followed him to all of the above classes. She plays the lost puppy dog role -always needing help and always looking hurt...never knows her forms or onesteps... after class she waits until after the regular students are done socializing before she gets dressed...then she hangs out in the dressing room till almost everyone is gone(except for me of course)...that way she can talk to him more. I have never seen another person who takes twenty minutes to put her damn shoes on!
Does my boyfriend like the attention? Of course he does! Who doesn't like being worshipped. I think part of the problem was he didn't realize how much she really really bothers me. We have had several(ok maybe more than several) small fights throughout the years that ended up in one big one a month ago. He apparently felt that I didn't "appreciate" him. Since then he has really made an effort to set more strict boundaries with this lady.-and I have tried to make him feel more worshiped at home (The other day she took so long to get dressed when she actually came out of the dressing room he was already gone! The look of surprise on her face was priceless)He "sends her home" so she isn't the last one at the school. He has turned off his cell phone...
Do I trust my boyfriend? I do. I believe he loves me. I don't believe he has a sexual relationship with this lady. I also know my boyfriend. He likes attention. I worry because sometimes people put themselves in situations unintentionally where feelings and relationships may develop that you didn't mean to happen. I respect the idea that I am in a relationship-I try to keep male friends at a comfortable distance...I hope that my BF will do the same.
I said I didn't think it was my place to confront this lady because its not my school. The lady does bring business to the school and she'll do just about any chore my boyfriend asks her to (pick up wood for demos etc.) ...if I confronted her I think my bf would feel I was stepping on his toes(I know he would)and I don't think it would change her behavior... a few of my karate friends have confronted her in the past -she never said anything in reply.
Still if the right moment occurs I think I may for my own sake-I'm just not sure what to say -I don't want to sound like a jealous raging GF-even if I am.
Monage a troui? Very funny guys. Maybe with my next boyfriend if this one doesn't work out...kidding.
My 2 cents and its probably not worth even that. Lord knows I'm not very good at this relationship stuff so take what I say with a lot of salt.
It does sound like your boyfriend is enjoying this and on top of the attention he's getting from her, you may want to consider that he may also like the fact that you are frustrated with the situation. There are lots of things you can do or not do. However, you can't control your boyfriends actions and you can't control the other woman but, you can control yourself. You've made your feelings known to your boyfriend which I think is good and since he isn't acting as you wish he would then you need to decide once and for all if this is something you can live with or this is something you can't live with. If you can't live with it (this is going to sound harsh) then get out of the relationship. If you decide to live it when you see her flirting just keep repeating to yourself that he is going home with you and you trust him and distract yourself with something else- go clean the locker room, sweep the mats, dust or bring a book and read but, do not spend any more time than you have to observing her flirting.
I just reread what I wrote. What I am trying to say is you have spent the last six years playing their game, I think its time you played your own.
Thanks for the advise. I believe most days I can "go clean the locker room" and thats what I try to do. I know he's going home with me. Its just some days are worse than others. I resent the fact that I have to work to ignore these distractions to be able to enjoy my training.
Good point, Chris, and a good question.
You are very intuitive... I am impressed.
Yes he was my instructor...and yes that's probably why I have trouble trusting him... I think "it happened with me" so why not with her? But! When we first "got together" I had lost a close friend to suicide and he was 6 months out of a divorce -both of us were not in a "mental state" to make the healthiest decisions. Both of us were trying to survive. I do not believe he was preying on me...and in fact he felt very guilty/ashamed about the whole thing...in the first few years we "stayed away from each other"-"broke-up" off and on several times. He even asked me if I wanted to train somewhere else.
It sucks to have your boyfriend as your "Master" and it does interfere. There are many occasions when actions on the floor are interpreted as personal (both ways). I would never do it again and I don't recommend it to anyone. I have trained in "two schools" for two years and for three years I taught my own classes at a different location... this helped. Presently I am back at my original school,but I often meet friends from my other school to train for competitions and fighting.( and maybe he wonders about me too?...)
Gotta go to work
As I said before and others are saying. Be very careful, this is not a stable person, and the longer you let her stay around the more careful risk you run...
You need to try your best to cut this person off, of course it's not that easy, and chances are this person will have a very hard time letting go.
Yes I agree,
and I have had many in depth conversations about the mental stability of this lady with outside and karate friends. Many of us have come to the conclusion that she should be seeing psychiatrist-because really she is sick, but she is using my BF for this purpose instead.
From past experience with mentally unstable people personally I have learned that its best to cut it off or stay out of it unless you're looking for unstablity to enter your own life...(which is happening here)
If it was up to me-I would draw a clear line if possible and if she couldn't understand it I would ask her to leave...but it is not. Its up to my BF. Things get confusing between us- he interprets my feelings as being jealous...he says a lot of people only like to train in his class(including me)...and there is truth in this. But until he opens his eyes I do not think things will change(except for his recent attempts to limit talking to her after class). He says she likes to train like everyone else...ahhh but I pointed out her attendance was only on his days and when we went on vacation she opened the school several times....did she stay and train? NO! My karate friends even tried to ask her why she doesn't stay and train? She gave some BS about being too busy and left. (then she returned to lock up the school) Crazy crazy psycho b?!!! She is never to busy to train if my BF is teaching and she always has time to stay after class till she is the last one there----He didn't know this and I told him -he seemed surprised... He needs to open his eyes to this stalker/needy lady...I need to be careful because the more I bring it up, the more he thinks its just me. I think he will have to learn his own lesson. I am trying to get through this without going crazy myself...like I said most days I am OK...I feel like I should have a right to train in peace, but then I also feel like I should have the right to stay at my own school -I should not be the one to leave. -so for now I'm stuck and it stinks.
Sounds like your boyfriend is being pretty selfish about the whole thing by turning the issue around and making it "your" problem. He really needs to have words with this person and lay out some stricter boundaries.
I'm a guy - and sometimes we guys are pretty stupid, but there's no way you should be forced out of your own school because your boyfriend can't sort out some obsessed dojo-groupie.
and sometimes we guys are pretty stupid
Sometimes? I thought it was always. :rolleyes:
Hadn't checked this thread for a while...
thanks for the advise...
An update: My boyfriend has set some sort of boundaries with this lady since I last wrote... She is not hanging around to Dojo after class as much and in fact she is only training about once a week now... it's almost too good to be true... I know that he still talks to her at least once a week on the phone---I guess returning her phone calls.
I don't ask a million questions about the details of his interactions with her, but something has happened-I don't know if he gave her the cold shoulder or he actually told her to cool it... either way we are all allowed to have friends and I can live with it if he wants to maintain his friendship with her. -All I ask is that he set some boundaries and it appears he has for now. I'm the girlfriend and this women needed to know where the line is. I feel better about training and my relationship.
sounds like it has all worked out fine...cool!
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