Forum Replies Created
October 25, 2016 at 6:01 pm in reply to: Unsure about the future, relationship not progressing much. (Long) #118916
You bet. I’m glad to hear that what I said resonated. You sound like a very decent and caring person. Few people would care so much and take things this far. But it is time to be a little “healthy selfish” and think about Oaktree for now.
It’s time to move on – and forward.
Be strong. You will need strength as Jay will most likely be emotional and things may again take a twist as you talk. But I promise you, he will be fine.
Please keep me posted.
Have a wonderful evening. I hope your Wednesday is filled with peace.
NinjaOctober 25, 2016 at 3:19 pm in reply to: Unsure about the future, relationship not progressing much. (Long) #118908
Dear Oaktree –
I’m sincerely sorry to hear that you are going through this. While I’m a guy, I can relate on many levels – and with you both.
As is often the case in these cathartic posts on Tiny Buddha, one sentence jumped out from the rest:
“It sucks that he is willing to do these things only after I threatened a break up, I wish he would have wanted to do them on his own.”
This was your heart speaking. You weren’t recounting something to us readers. You were truly reflecting how you feel.
I believe that some of the anxiety you’re feeling is that this has been going on for far too long – and you simply don’t know how to end it. While Jay sounds like a wonderful guy and he may have baggage (we all have baggage), he’s at a vastly different level of maturity as you. That’s not his fault. And that’s not your fault. Sure, you can have great sex, laugh, and spend fun times together. But so do many teens – and Jay is stuck in his teen years. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t get him to mature any faster to catch up with you.
I once heard someone far smater than me say most marriages fail because, “The wife has high expectations and wants her new husband to grow into someone she hopes he someday will become — while the new husband wants his bride to stay as young and beautiful as she is on her wedding day.” Both fail.
I’m usually a proponent of telling people to “work at it” and “hang in there.” But in your case I think you know what to do – a clean break. You are still young, single and don’t have any children between the two of you to make you stay. You’re even theorizing it in your head. From the job to the license to meeting your family, he has had his chance many times over. Only when you’re taking him to “the very edge” is he saying everything you want to hear. Again, that’s immaturity. And, aside from the drama and tears, that’s simply messing with you, sister. You deserve better than this. You deserve a man.
If you choose to break with him, then give yourself the healing “gift” of time. A month. Two months. Maybe three (after the holidays, which are always super tough). Don’t drink! And don’t see Corey. Really. Just spend time with yourself – and good girlfriends. Take another trip. (I suggest Sorrento, Italy – but that’s just me.) You are a different person for knowing and being with Jay. Reflect on the positive that came out of it – because there are positives. But it wasn’t meant to be long-term. Get to know yourself again! And value yourself. I’m sure you were positive for Jay, too. Should he meet someone down the road, he may be all the wiser and more mature for her. If anything, you gave him a great gift. But you are not responsible for him.
And then, when you finally feel peace, call Corey. He sounds like a great man.
Keep us posted. Peace to you today.
NinjaOctober 25, 2016 at 11:46 am in reply to: My parent's are divorcing and my mother had an affair… #118894
Dear needmorezen –
I agree with Anita here. You must take care of yourself — and place a priority on your own family.
Situations like these do not heal themselves overnight. No way. They take time. But in due time, healing can take place. But be careful, do not be obsessed over this. That’s counteracts healing and often re-opens the wound. I never knew what “obsession” was until a counselor explained it to me:
“Obsession – an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind”
You wake up with it on your mind. It fills your every open moment during the day. You go to bed thinking about it. Not healthy – at all. And, as you indicated, every time you think about it you get mad. That’s a LOT of anger throughout your day. Even less healthy.
Give yourself the “gift” of time and space. Everyone reacts to things differently. And, usually the bigger the issue the longer the time you need. Still, you must take the higher road while doing this. Anger does not justify malice. If you have children, they will pick up on your negative energy. And those types of feelings grow like a cancerous tumor. Stop it immediately. Again, it is okay (and healthy) to be angry. You are hurt. Shocked. And upset. I don’t blame you one bit.
Consider this note as a gigantic e-hug.
Lastly, if you want to share, tell us about the other person in this: your dad. He may need you now more than ever. And, thinking outside of yourself can often help expedite your own healing – and quell obsessive thinking.
Please keep us posted, my friend.
Peace to you today.
I agree with Anita – your children are your number-one responsibility here.
To be honest, I’m a jealously-prone guy myself. It’s a terrible trait of someone who is insecure. While it’s not always the case, it seems that your boyfriend is jealous of the time you spend with your friends. He may also feel this way when you spend time with your children. Not sure as you didn’t indicate this either way. Of course, you must prioritize your children over any man you may be dating, friends, or anyone.
And, while you didn’t broach this, sex always complicates things even further. Always.
You need – and deserve – a guy who you are happy to be with. Someone you look forward to seeing and spending time with. Someone who is selfless – not selfish. Someone who is confident and secure enough to not “stew” at home after you give him an innocent “maybe” about coming over later. Honestly, I do feel for this guy as, like I said, I have been like him; weak, insecure and jealous (of my now spouse). Many guys get this way. It dovetails into a control issue, too. It’s hard and takes work. Just last night I slipped and got angry at my wife. She didn’t deserve my reaction and I should have handled it much better. It happens. That said, I believe you (just you, not the two of you) have two courses to choose from:
A.) If you want to work to keep this relationship (and all relationships take work), you need to make him aware that he is behaving poorly. But you must do this delicately as he is probably sensitive to any criticism. If you love him, tell him that, too. But also tell him that the time you spend with your girlfriend(s) is important to you. Lay some ground rules. He must learn to value what is important to you and you must do the same for him. Do NOT raise your voice (even if he does). Stay calm. Do NOT blow up at him nor call him names (e.g., “you’re being childish”), etc. That will only escalate things – as you have already seen happen.
B.) If you feel that this relationship is not worth keeping (and it may not be), or if you tried “A.” and he’s not responding well and all you’re feeling is anxiety from being with him, then politely say good-bye. Again, stay calm. A break up doesn’t have to be a blow up. Don’t accuse him of anything. Be an adult. “It’s just not working.”
And, as I said, keep your children as your number-one priority. Always!
Keep us posted.
Peace to you today, Blossom08.
Always great to hear from you, ManBuddha! Thank you for your support and wisdom.
James, I believe you’re now in very good company. ManBuddha is very insightful.
Your road ahead might be filled with mixed feelings of frustration, loneliness, depression and possible anger. But it won’t last forever. Don’t succumb. You will slowly grow in strength and become a shining example of a loyal and loving husband. The key to unconditional love is to remain selfless, and not fall to feelings of selfishness.
We are here for you. Please write back as often as you need to. I’ll get the alerts in my email and will respond.
It does work. I am here (on Tiny Buddha) because I too have experienced probably the worst year of my marriage. But I learned just what I shared with you; that in order to rescue my marriage I had to put my wife before myself.
But you know this. You asked about timing. : )
Let’s see. About early August, I started this effort with a book called ‘The Love Dare.’ It’s a wonderful 40-day exercise that’s Christian-based. And it helped me greatly. You can pick up a copy at any Half-Priced Book store. Certain exercises in the book let your wife know what you’re up to (e.g., you leave her a love note one day, etc.). So, my point is, my wife became aware that I was making an effort. And our marriage was in crisis, big time. I had reason enough to attack her for things she never told me about her past. Real sordid things. But the book taught me about unconditional love. It changed my life. And our marriage. My selfish side (the easy reaction) wanted me to attack her, find out more and more, and make her “own up” for not telling me things earlier. And I did that for awhile (pre-book). But, as you can guess, that only made her defensive and pushed her farther away. The book taught me how to shower her with love — even when she had none to give me in return. And, I felt she didn’t deserve it! It taught me selfless love. Consistency is the key here. If you do one thing and she feels that “string are attached” then you go back to square one. And I did slip. I’m human. But slowly, little by little, over these past few weeks/months she has come to know that I am simply loving her. With no strings.
So, to answer your question, in about a month or two, and it’s getting better with each passing day.
But I don’t believe you’ve actually started yet. Your wife has to know your true intent: to fight for you both and keep your marriage alive and intact. Right now, she sees you as doing nice things. She may be suspicious that you want something in return or will be mopey and depressed if she doesn’t reciprocate with love and affection. Tell her, “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Your life is more important to me than my own. I love you just for who you are. And I expect nothing in return. And even if you don’t feel the same way right now, I’ll always be here for you … and our girls. Always!”
This is laying the foundation. Then, consistency is the key. And, as another guy who’s been there, it will seem like an eternity. But the moment you make peace in your heart that she may never come around, she might. Mine did! But again, you have to accept the fact that she may never come around. Be at total peace knowing your doing the right thing — for her and your girls.
Again, be strong. Take this one day at a time. I’m here for you. And am happy to help you navigate through this.
Your strength will come through knowing that you are being the man of the house and doing the right thing.
Peace to you.
Be careful – you’re getting some slightly conflicting counsel here.
Some may feel that your personal happiness is the most important thing. I would suggest that you keep working at this for your sake, as well as your wife’s and daughters’. Marriage takes work. Anything that is worth anything takes work. It is my personal belief that we live in a world where, if we’re not happy, it is easy to cut bait and move on. And, sometime separation and divorce are necessary – but only when all else fails (cases of abuse, etc.). I truly believe you and your wife are far from that juncture. Far.
And, you have two daughters. Not only did you sign on to love and cherish your wife for better and for worse, but you owe it to your girls.
Stay strong. Show your wife how much you love her by fighting for your marriage.
Let me try to help – as I’ve been in a very similar situation.
When things seem so confusing and out of control it can feel like you’re driving at night without any headlights. Frustrating – and frightening. Take a second to hit the pause button and “unpack” the issues – because there are many that you’re dealing with all at the same time.
While my wife and I have been blessed with two healthy daughters, I have heard (both in reading and personal friend’s accounts) that having children with special needs (of any level) places a huge amount of stress and strain on any marriage. Most marriages end – and the children who already are challenged have an even tougher time. So, no matter what, I would suggest that you stay together for the sake of your girls. Remember, children thrive on consistency. They need you both – at the same time. Also, see an “added point” a couple paragraphs down.
As I’ve said in other threads, depression is real – and it can hurt and cripple. At least you both are acknowledging that you’re suffering from it. My wife suffered from it years before we met. This led her to a life of promiscuity, feeling of worthlessness and extreme sadness. Seeing a skilled therapist helped her navigate through it. And she has been on medication for it for years and it seems to have helped. A lot. I believe that we all suffer from depression to a degree. But some much more than others. Look into having it treated.
Love her – unconditionally
You and I seem to be very much alike – nice, hard-working guys who love their wives and want it to last. But I’m noticing you’re expecting something in return for your kind everyday tasks, trips, date nights, etc. It’s natural, especially for men, to expect something in return. “Doing chores, making meals, packing lunches … but still no love.” That’s rough! I too have been there. My wife has referred to herself as the “Ice Queen.” And when your kindness isn’t returned, it simply causes even more frustration, sadness and depression. The answer isn’t easy nor simple to follow, but it’s the best one I know: unconditional love. If you love your wife—truly love her—then love her even more than you love yourself. This is love – without conditions! And it’s rare. But when you place her best interests before your own, you are “adding” to what you’re giving. Meaning, no strings attached. And, hopefully over time, she will pick up on this. But it is tough. At times you will feel lonely, depressed and like you’re not getting a return on your investment. Short changed. Not what you signed on for. And all this is very “anti-modern man.” She’s trying to “give you an out” by suggesting separation. She wants to see if you’ll bail on her (part of her depression). Very kindly refuse it. Tell her that you’re in her corner and you’re never giving up on her – whether she feels love for you or not. Tell her that you have enough strength and love for you both. Tell her that you love her without expecting anything in return. Tell her that you love her unconditionally.
My wife picked up on this sooner than I had expected. And things are much better. So, it does work!
Added point: your girls need you to not only be present in their lives (24/7), but they also need to see you as an example of a man who loves his wife unconditionally. This way, they will know what type of man to look for later in life. And they are watching you (and absorbing) more than you could ever possibly realize. So, as an added “incentive,” do all this for your girls.
Be strong. Write back. I’m here for you.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 4 months ago by Ninja.
Don’t give up!
I am the father of two girls myself and have faced a similar struggle.
I will write back shortly (yet today) when I have the right amount of time for the right words.
Chin up. Talk soon.
I’m so glad that my post from yesterday resonated with you. Every day is a new day; a new start. A fresh beginning. Focus your energy outward, rather than reflecting and measuring yourself inward.
Write back if need be.
Peace to you today, my friend.
Christopher (and JoeDar) –
I have been there, too. In fact, I too am going through another difficult trial right now.
But let me share what I can in order to help you.
As anita very well stated, a chapter has ended – but your life is far, far from over. I am 52 and remember times when I was your age when I too faced significant loss (yes, of a girl) and thought all was over. But “time” is a very funny thing. We are always moving forward. And there really are new things, people, opportunities just around every corner. And, as these new things consume your attention, time and emotions, the old things really do fade away. Honest.
Depression is real
Depression is a real thing that can hurt. It lurks and sneaks up on you when you’re most vulnerable – and fills your head with thoughts of self-doubt, anxiety, fear of the future, debt, worthlessness, loneliness, etc. This happens to everyone. Still, here’s what I do when this happens: call it out! Like turning on the light in a dark room and saying, “Get the hell out of here! Your cancerous thoughts are not welcome here – NOW GO!” Depression can act like a fake friend; snuggling up against you and getting you to believe negative things. Don’t let it. Depression is a weak snake. Run it over with your Mack truck.
Of course, some depression can be severe – and overwhelming. When this happens, seek a trained profession to help you navigate through it.
Be positive – and stay positive
It’s very hard to be positive. And it’s even harder when everyone else seems to be happy, successful and better off. But this isn’t the case. Everyone has self-doubt and anxiety – even the President and the Pope. It’s simply part of being human. But when you eject the negative thoughts that depression brings, back-fill the void you just created with positive thoughts. I know, easier done than said. But people pick up the “vibe” of others who are positive; they are more open, comfortable to be around, genuine, honest – and attractive. Yes, it’s proven that most women would much rather be around a positive guy who’s genuinely interested in them rather than a GQ cover stud who’s a total egotistical jerk.
Get up – and out
Everything that is worth something takes work and effort. Break from your “comfortable norm.” Meaning, don’t sit around and watch TV, etc. Get up – and out. Walk. Run. Exercise if you can. Breathe fresh, outside air. The more you’re in motion, the better. It’s not only good for your body, but it flushes the nasty cob webs out of your head. And say “good-bye” to negative BS.
Keep your faith – close
I must mention this – because you did. I am a Christian. I’m not going to assume you are, too, although you may be. Still, faith is critical – especially when we are facing times of trial. Remember, “faith” is not “religion.” People wage wars over religions. Faith is personal. It’s about the deep, intimate relationship that is real between you and God. You will get through this, Christopher. Pray about it. Be patient. And don’t compare yourself to others. You are unique – and full of huge potential. You are where Michael Jordan was in high school.
Your time is coming, Christopher. I just know it. Now, go for a long walk. And pray. God’s a great listener.
Write back as much as you want. I’ll check in regularly.
In the meantime, I’ll pray that peace engulfs your soul today.
Yes, spend time focusing on yourself. One of the best ways to truly find happiness is to live “outside of yourself.” Meaning, try something like volunteering at a food pantry, shelter, etc. Places like that truly need people like you. And you will walk away feeling valued and that you made a difference. But leave the door open to finding someone, even just a crack. Who knows, that special lady might be out there volunteering, too. And having a common interest such as giving is a great way to start.
You have so much to offer!
I sincerely wish you the best!
I agree with anita, it is best for you both if you made a clean break now.
You are obsessing about this girl. (Definition of obsession: “An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.”)
I’m not sure if she’s making promises to you that she has no intention of keeping. That answer is in her head. But you sound like a guy who deserves someone who truly wants to be with you. Now, here’s the important part: the sooner you end this the sooner you’ll be freed up to find that other special person.
How do I know this so well? I’ve been in your shoes. Years ago. Twice, in fact.
There are other good partners out there. Better ones. And, while you are searching, discover yourself! Build your confidence and inner strength! Finding someone won’t “complete” you. That places unrealistic expectations on the other person … and dooms any relationship.
The moment I broke it off with my “unrealistic girl” (which wasn’t easy), I began to find value in myself. And you know what happened then? I met HER!
Thanks for the great discussion.
Growing up, I was a Good Guy. My wife was a Bad Girl (her own words). She had many sexual partners, while she has been my only partner. Here are a few things to consider that I have found illuminating and VERY helpful:
1. “Blooming” Early vs Late
My wife started having sex with guys at age 15. When I was 15, I could not even imagine doing such a thing. I was still into comic books, hanging with my buddies, etc. My point: People mature at different times. I was a very “late bloomer” when it came to desiring sex. Oh, mind you, I do like it now! And her, not so much. Been there, done that – many times. This very sharp contrast in our “timing” has caused us anxiety. But knowing that this stress comes from our contrasting pasts helps us isolate and deal with it. Of course, this leads to:
2. Contrasting “Numbers”
Since she started very early, her number grew – and grew. I started very late (late 20’s) and, like I said, she has been my only partner. To better make my point, if I had, say, 27 partners and she had 30, I’m sure the anxiety wouldn’t be there – we’d have our own “war stories” (and wounds) to share. Not us. Our backgrounds are lop-sided. No one’s fault – and I realize that my past helps create this as much as hers.
3. Now vs Then: People can change
When we were first together, my wife said, “If you knew me a few years ago, you wouldn’t have liked me – and I wouldn’t have liked you!” What she meant was this: she was a Bad Girl who liked only Bad Guys. To her, Good Guys were boring losers. Of course, the Bad Guys would mistreat her, and she would also be the aggressor at times. And like so many younger women, she needed to feel accepted and validated by men. But the emotional “high” she would gain by waking up naked next to a guy she just met hours before (her “win/trophy”) was only followed by an even larger “low.” Eventually, after a few years of therapy, she broke this cycle – and met me. Sadly, she no longer desires sex as it reminds her of a darker time before me. This creates anxiety as I feel she “gave herself away” before me. We’re currently working through this.
I do believe that a “Lower Number” person brings a certain degree of naivety, ignorance and expectation to the relationship. And, while a “Higher Number” person brings experience, they also bring baggage in the form of wounds, shame, guilt and pain. I am very sensitive to not “slut shaming” my wife for her past as she has told me that she’d like to forget most of it. I also realize that while she started having sex at a very early age, she needed to feel accepted and validated – I did not. She didn’t have sex out of desire (although enjoying it may have been a side bonus for her). I’m sure that if she could attain acceptance from men without sex, she would have chosen that instead.
Overall, we cannot be too general and categorize people. We’re all different, mature at various times (or never at all), in different ways – and have the option of actually changing for the worse or better. If you find someone special (as I have), don’t treat them as a sexual trophy. Treat them as a whole person. And put their life and well being before yours. Grow old with them. And after the “parts” no longer work that well, discover the joy of holding their hand.
Good to know.
You probably both need some time to heal. Give that to yourself. You might need it more than you realize.
Have a great weekend.