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    Hi Chantal,

    I think it is not unusual and perfectly normal to be emotionally dependent on someone we are in llove with. Never I met in my whole life a person in love who would  feel neutral while the feeling is not reciprocated. As well as wolking away from the person we are attached to is extremely difficult for everyone. So please, don’t be harsh on yourself.

    Now, if your mind is convinced he is not good for you and the relationship as it is is not satisfiying you, the it is better to walk away no matter how hard it is.

    You will be heartbroken for a while. It is anavoidable. But think about it as a short term pain vs long term benefits. It will help you.

    You will see your self esteem and self worth grow as you look back and appreciate the decision you made. It will not happen overnight, but it will.




    Hi Tom,

    This state of yours, did it last for long time is it recent?

    There are two things which came to my mind when I read your post.

    Could it be exhaustion? Physical or mental. Lack of sleep? It can happen that our body sends us a signal of alarm saying “I cannot take it anymore”. Could also be a hormonal unbalance also which you cannot improve just with the power of spirit. On the other hand, according to many research, proper life hygiene can be very helpful: healthy regular eating, moderate exercise and enough sleep. If it doesn’t improve after these measures have been taken, I would discuss it with my family doctor.

    Another thing is more on the psychology side. I read an article describing the research findings that sometimes the so called positive psychology can give a bad result. In other words, when we force ourselves to feel good, it produces the opposite result. Maybe if you let yourself experience the negative emotions without fighting them, but without nurturing them either, they will have less power over you.





    Dear Prash,

    Lowering or suppressing expectations means for me giving up on goals and dreams. All above listed were always an important part of my life and allowed me to find strength to go through difficult moments. 

    I think that’s how I define passion: a strong emotional investment into something which has an outcome. Once reached, even temporarily, it provides me with a very strong feeling of joy and fulfillment. 

    A desire for an outcome is how I define expectation. So, with the elimination of the expectation, I can’t experience passion.

    Maybe I should challenge this idea.  A passion, can it exist without desire? And the desire, can it exist without the attachment to the outcome? 

    Or, can we consciously choose our emotional investments to make it as little as possible dependent on the sources we have no control over?

    Or are we conditioned to invest in particular things and it escapes our free will?

    On another note, I think the work I have done on improving myself lately starts bringing some positive results. It is difficult though, very difficult… An almost constant self awareness and a conscious effort to act opposed to what feels natural. However, the gratification worth taking the challenge. 

    Our exchange makes a shift in my mind. I couldn’t hope for any better.



    Dear anita,

    Please see my answers below:

    Are you saying then the following regarding your younger son ?:

    1. “people are born selfish” and so, your son was born selfish as well.

    > Correct

    2. “there was nothing utterly wrong in the environment” into which your son was born and in which he has grown up so far.

    > Correct

    3. Your son genetically inherited “anger and/or anxiety” that led him to resist the proper education that you and your husband provided him, and therefore he did not become altruistic. Instead he remained selfish (and arrogant as well).

    > Not correct. I wrote : “I think we did not give him the opportunity to learn to develop a resilience for the frustration of not getting what he wants” To add, we did not establish clear boundaries of what is allowed and what is not.  We are at fault for this.

    4. Your son’s anger at you has nothing to do with the nature of his interactions with you, his mother throughout his 13 years and everything to do with his genetics that were set before he was born?

    >  This is an over simplification if what I wrote. 

    I think, sadly,  we don’t get to understand each other with you any more. Maybe my English is not good enough to explain what I want.

    On the other hand, I perceive you imply I am a bad mother which did not know how to interact and help her son to grow and to became a good person and that I fail to understand that I am the only one to blame. If so, I got your idea and I will think about it.

    However, according to my therapist, the guilt I experience (and always experienced) prevents me from moving forward and improve my relationship with everyone, including my son. He thinks I “overdo” and might be perceived as “too much”, that I should let go more often than not.  So, somehow what you show me the opposite direction and I think I will pick the path suggested by my therapist. I believe changing direction 180 degree will not do any good for me right now.

    I feel sad reading what you think about me, but I don’t want to justify myself any further.

    Thank you.





    I am definitely not an introvert, rather the opposite, which I think doesn’t help. Should I be an introvert, I would be more self-sufficient and emotionally independent. I understand what you mean be “intensity makes me hesitant to talk to others”, except that, as opposed to you, I think I naturally “impose” my talk on others. The realization that they might be not interested at all comes when it is too late. While at the moment I am very positive that it is interesting for everyone. I am bad at the small talks and cheat chats and usually cannot take it for more than 5-10 minutes.

    Could you please detail a bit more about the shift you made from curiosity that you had in others towards yourself?

    How do I get my minimum?… This is a challenging question for me. Because, on one side – I get it. But not always. Probably it is about to have my portion of attention on a regular basis? Probably when I don’t have it for a certain period of time, I start running low on supply? Almost like food? I am saying that because strangely enough, when I get it I am good to go without for some time… I really need to think about it. I don’t have an answer right now. It is almost like I am convinced about my insignificance and in order to feel otherwise, I need reassurance. I am “thinking out loud” here. Not sure if this is true…

    You really make me review my beliefs about myself which is amazing! I thought I knew it all (ok, a bit of self-irony here).

    I am familiar about the concept of lowering or suppress expectations. I am not sure I am comfortable with it, even at the theoretical level. Doesn’t it come at the expense of passion for life? Maybe “shifting” (as you wrote) is better?

    I started working on re defining the degree of expectations of love. Again, what you write resonates very well with me and the place I am right now. But, I must admit I don’t have a full clarity yet. However, I think after much efforts for the past few years I slowly start acquiring a certain level of understanding. It is not an easy process for me.

    Accepting and being content with what I have along with looking at the other sources of joy which makes me less dependent of others is my primary goal.

    Thank you so much for encouraging me!


    Dear anita,

    None of your statements describes what I think.

    Generally speaking, I think that people are born Selfish. With an ability (not a garantie) to become altruistic if properly educated.


    When it comes to arrogance, I think it is a magnifestation of the inner feeling. Which in its turn is conditionned by hormonal composition as well as the environment.


    When it comes to my son, I think that the anger and/or anxiety is something which he inheritated – yes. And I believe there was nothing utterly wrong in the environment. There were mistakes (see my post above), but nothing dramatic.

    As much as many other people. It mades it more difficult to educate him. As much as my older son was born with “happy gene”. Almost never cried, always smiled when was few months old.




    Dear anita,

    I think we have a natural tendency to simplify complex phenomenon. Our automatic desire is to find a simple answers to the difficult questions to put things in order.

    Moreover, the specificity of our interaction is that I will give you a portion of the information I am concentrating on at the moment I am writing. It might be contradictory at times. Hence, the changes in your perception.

    To answer all your questions objectively and thoughtfully in order to give you enough information, I will need to write a dozen of pages, and, even after that, I don’t believe you (or anyone else for that matter) will be able to get the clarity required to fully understand what happens in my family.

    If my husband was a bad person, I would leave a long time ago. I know and understand his shortcoming. He has also a very good and admirable side. I also realize that I might contribute to the issues we have and I am working on it alone as well as with my therapist.

    As for my younger son and your statement about kids in general, I am afraid I disagree. Some kids are born quiet and some are prone to cry more. There is an inborn part, then there is the influence of the environment. What we become when grown is the result of the combination of two. I don’t think there is someone who can tell the exact proportion of their respective contribution, but my observations tell me that the inborn part is probably the one which drives, unless there is something utterly wrong in the environment.

    My husband and myself we always have been very caring (maybe too caring) for our son. I think we did not give him the opportunity to learn to develop a resilience for the frustration of not getting what he wants. Well, I tried and still am, but my husband being an inborn conformist tries to avoid conflicts and resistance as much as he can. I am more resistant, but first – have my limits too and second – I don’t want to play the role of the “bad cop”. I played it a lot while daddy is much cooler. Who do you think my son prefer to spend time with (not to mention common guys interests).

    As for my son giving me, I was referring to think and to give a gift for the mother’s day for example. He did forget for two years in a row.

    Another example of a behavior which hurts me would be the following: we went to see a movie together. I picked a parking place which he disliked, he said we should park on the other side. The when we went out, he made such a big deal about it, was arrogant and harsh. I said it is unacceptable and stopped talking to him. Later, he would apologize. And this type of things happens often. I think he has anger management issue, especially with us, because he knows he will get away with it. Mind you, even being toddler at the daycare, they told us that he has such “strong characters”.

    It might seem easy from the outside to deal with it. But believe me, this is not the case.

    I think I will do the best I know and can to keep myself and my family together.

    Thank you a lot for your time and care.



    Dear C,

    I second that it is close to impossible to read and understand other people mind. Even if they open up fully. From my experience, trying to get some clarity and closure is just a waste of time and energy. I know you would gladly dedicate yours to solve the puzzle. Why? Because you care.  It is important to you. She is important to you.

    Again, from my experience, I have never met anyone who, being genuinely intersted, would not find time and energy for the object of their interest.

    Your devotion to her would be flattering to many women. So why losing someone so caring and understanding.

    The risk for you, however, is to engage in thher endless mind-games and be hurt over amd over. I find she acts pushy pully and it doesn’t feel good to me.

    I know this is not what you would like to read… I am sorry about that. And I feel for you.

    So, if you find yourself capable of keep going with your life, meeting and dating other ladies, then I would probably keep seeing her as a friend for a while to see where it takes you.

    But, if you are really involved and and she occupies most of your daydreams, then it is probably a good idea to go no contact with her in order to forget her and move on.





    Dear Prash,

    Oh yes, it was very supportive. Last weekend I was very distressed and reading your comments when I could not fall asleep was very comforting and produced some calm effect for me.

    I agree that all the life situations are unique. Sometimes it strikes me to want extent the blogs, the books does not talk to me. It feels so weird that the most common human struggle and experience is not something I find hard to take. At the same time people tend to be much more resilient with the things I find unbearable.

    To give you few examples: social anxiety, job self-doubt, financial insecurity,… These common places of suffering let me indifferent. I mean, I empathize with people on the intellectual level and trying to support them the best I can, but I don’t experience it myself on the emotional level.

    However, I struggle a lot with lack of attention, of love, of close and strong connections. I put so much effort to have it. Surprisingly (or maybe not (?))  it so hard to get for me. Most likely I am too demanding. I work on it, literally talking to myself and stopping myself from acting as demanding. But no matter what there is no big improvement in the area. And this hurts me the most. I feel like people like me, but try to avoid me. I had some feedback that the deep level of my conversations and interactions feels too much for most of them. I am trying to change this one too… Well… I don’t know.

    On the other hand, when I get my “minimum” of attention and care, everything become so good and light. When I feel loved and cared for just with a little (but real) gesture, I feel strong, I feel good and happy.

    As I mentioned in one of my previous post, I am naturally a happy and positive person. I just need this small portion of feeling important and significant  for someone and then everything fall into places. However, without this feeling I feel miserable no matter what I have or what I do.

    I am trying to understand, but cannot get my had around it. I understand the evolutionary explanation of human being social animals. Bu then why is it me who seems to be the only person who react to it so sharply? I don’t find articles, blogs, posts about this… Mostly: “stop dwelling on the past…”, “don’t be a perfectionist”, “don’t depend of others think of you”. But, again, this does not speak to me.

    For your question about my definition of happiness, the answer is – yes.   I agree. I actually came to the same conclusion (intellectually though). I put some conscious effort in trying to find other source of happiness, but was not successfully so far. It feels phony. Do you know what I mean? Like if I start painting or playing piano (which I do), how is it supposed to fill the void  due to the lack of human interaction? Probably I should persevere…

    It might sound stupid, but do can you give me some examples?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by miranam.

    Dear anita,

    I agree with your explanations and logical links.

    Now, having this knowledge and understanding, what am I supposed to do? I cannot re-live my life… And, how can I use it in the future? I don’t think I will have an opportunity to apply it.  What is left is to acknowledge that my whole life is a mistake. And I got what I got.

    I just need to find something to live with less emotional pain as I don’t think I can possibly be fine one day.




    Dear Prash,

    Thank you for keeping posting for I feel supported and it feels easier.

    I don’t really have other sources. Just my therapist. When we started our sessions about a year ago, I formulated my goal as to be able to reach emotional independence. Not being affected by anyone. Not rely on anyone emotionally. I would do anything to reach this state of mind for I am so drained. He is in psychodynamic area. Before him, I worked with CBT therapist. No success. I still find myself at the same place. There is zero improvement.

    Now, Prash, if I am not to get love and care from my husband and my sons, who would ever give it to me? Who would ever care?

    I read a lot about the concept of the self love, self compassion, inner child… you name it. That we need to be complete and self sufficient. While others are just the addition to our already happy life. I have been thinking about it for about a decade.

    I don’t really get it. It is all beautiful, but totally strange to me. Not that I don’t enjoy my own company or need someone to complete me all the time. But, I need to belong somewhere.

    To back up what I am saying, many researchers point out the fact that the quality of our lives are strongly correlated with the quality of our relationships. This one – I get it fully. And this is what I miss in my life.

    Also, I think my self esteem is very low. I feel less than nothing. There must be something utterly wrong with me if I got there.




    Dear Prash,

    What can I say… Yes and no. Not everything in life is total failure. I have a professional success. A house. I am not in debt.

    I am not sick, nor anyone close to me is. Nobody is dying. I live in a great and stable country. There is no war.

    I am just not loved by anyone. Just that. All the people in my life are just taking. I give with joy, from the bottom of my heart. However, it doesn’t mean I don’t need some reciprocity at time. I do. but I don’t get it. It makes me feel lonely, hopeless and unhappy.


    Dear anita,

    I gave it some thought.

    You are right. My family life feels like a complete failure. All my dreams and the way I pictured it, all the efforts I put in it failed. It has its repercussion for the way I feel about life in general. Nothing brings me joy and I oscillate between the deep sadness and the forced “acceptance”.

    My relationship with my husband is one sided. If I provide him with comfort, it works, but as soon as I am in need, he distance himself from me. He does not put any effort into care about me.

    My relationship with me younger son isn’t good either. He always was rebellious and difficult kid. I tried to educate him to be caring, but my husband did not support me in it. The result, in his 13 he is very self-absorbed, arrogant and selfish. I don’t believe it is the teenager’s issue, I see other teens communicating with their mothers. They are much more respectful.

    I suffer in my family. Anything I plan goes wrong, we always end up in argument. I cry, my son apologize and it re-start. We don’t have good memories, not good traditions. I was and probably still am in denial. Having a good family was the most important thing for me and I failed. Nothing else is important.

    I don’t know what to live for anymore. It hurts tremendously. I am not suicidal, but I want all this nightmare named “life” to not last very long. I hope it won’t.


    Dear anita,

    It feels so good to read your generous feedback about me. The woman you describe is a model, an ideal I aspire to become. Truth to be told, I am not controlling and bossy for the sake of self affirmation, but mostly out of care, or worry, or anxiety. Being leader and perfectionist by nature, I am very demanding towards myself an, consequently, towards others. This is natural and automatic for me. Few years ago I came to the realization that this is a big shortcoming and I was working ever since on the self improvement in this area. This is really hard. The hardest part is to catch yourself the moment you start controlling as it happens suddenly and automatically. Another issue is to differentiate an unhealthy  control with the healthy one (proper son education or a relevant advice). The fine line is almost invisible.


    Your words go straight to my heart. And I agree with you totally. However, I was practicing with more or less success the concept of the acceptance. Radical acceptance or ACT. Was challenging my need of feeling loved. And it works sometimes. Especially because I am a happy and optimistic person by nature. My natural state is feeling good. But… there is this something so important which is missing and which I long for. If I could eradicate this need I would be perfectly happy.  I would work hard to achieve complete emotional independence. I know it is just another dream.

    Ok, let’s set aside the heart of my husband for a moment. What about my son and his heart, his teen years? And how am I supposed to feel happier by my own for the rest of my life? This marriage was my life project and I will put a final signature on its failure.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by miranam.

    Dear Anita and Prash,

    Interesting enough you advice the opposite. And it expresses so eloquently my internal struggle.

    Prash, rationally this is exactly whar I am saying to myself: “miranam, stop dreaming. You are 48, a mature woman, you should have known by now that the are dreams and there is reality. They so often don’t match. Many people settle for less. You have a good, reliable husband. You know he will be there for you if you got sick, he is just lazy and not enthousiastic. In addition, look at you. Who would ever take care and be empathetic to such bossy and controlling woman like yoursel. You’d better work on you and lower your expectation towards others.”

    Then, when going through some (emotionally) tough time, I don’t see him tnere for me, I am inclined to think like Anita. What is the point? I have been with him for 22 years now. How can he ignore my feelings? How come he is so unsupportive? Means, I wasted all these years and haven’t built anything…

    Anita, he misses me when I am away on a business trip. He often says “I love you”. What if he is simply cannot be this strong man I want him to be? What if he has no ability to be a strong shoulder that I can lean on? Or what if all that is my fault? And the broken heart… It can be broken even if the love is selfish… can’t it?

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