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GL

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    GL
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    Hi X,

    Life gets so busy, doesn’t it?

    I don’t mind murderers that much. Sometimes murdering is the only way to save a person from pain or harm.

    That is why I said torture, especially inhumane torture. (“Inhumane” because there do exist masochists who enjoy being inflicted pain, but probably only to a degree.)

    Some people are seeking eternity so death won’t be the kindest thing to do for them.

    As for Rapunzel, however, I do have an objection. First, I am not sure the Witch herself believed that the world is evil and that Rapunzel is better off and safer inside. I would rather tend to think that the Witch wanted to keep her inside for her (the Witch’s) own purposes (peace of mind or whatnot). Second, the Witch didn’t comply with Rapunzel‘s wish to be let out and go see the world.

    Isn’t our own freedom to do what we want limited by the freedom of others to do what they want?

    You contradict yourself. If having Rapunzel stayed in the tower was for the Witch’s peace of mind, then what was it that she fear would happen to Rapunzel should she leave the safe tower? And besides, if all Rapunzel knew was the boundaries of the tower, was she ever curious if there was more outside or was she content with not knowing?

    Freedom is decided by how much you are willing to give up to be a part of the society as society have rules to ensured some safety to all those who give up some of their freedom to join in. Though rules are also arbitrary in that it can be used to oppressed people. The company you are a part of has rules, both spoken and unspoken. Which ones you choose to follow is according to your will and which ones your colleagues choose to follow is according to their will. Your freedom lies in your choice to choose what to do as others are afforded the same choice. So if you choose to do something then they are allowed to obstruct not on the basis that they want to not allow you freedom, but precisely because they have the freedom to do so.

    Oh, this one is simple. If one is less than 14 years old, one automatically goes to children’s library. And guess who chooses books for the children’s library shelves (even though it was the biggest library in the city)? Adults. For some reason, adults didn’t think adult versions of books were suitable for children or teens to borrow.

    Pictures books are nice to look at for whatever age you are as it is made to be readable. But that is precisely why children are directed towards them, because their mind has not linked certain words to certain actions. Once you’ve developed the ability to understand the picture that a whole paragraph of words are painting, what stopped you from reaching for novels and fiction? Certainly, the adults around you probably meant well by directing you to the children’s section, but you still had the ability to go further. You had the choice to reach for other books that were not in the children’s section.

    Though I had the predisposition for horror and historical/fantasy fiction as a child so I was reaching the limits of picture books pretty quickly. It was so much more interesting to read about wars and monsters than cute fairy tales. I will have to thank a certain someone who had read to me ‘The Hobbit’ for the fantasy aspects.

    More than that, in order to select or ask for something, one needs to know that it exists. Say, do you know that there exist literal translations of Shakespeare’s plays for literature specialists in different languages? Yet, I seriously doubt that a regular library for adults would carry it. And you wouldn’t ask about such translations unless you knew that they existed.

    Not every book is meant to be read by every person. A specialized translation of Shakespeare are meant for those who wished to understand it further, not for the passing reader who is only interested in the play.

    How then can we interact with people at all??? That reminds me of neuro-linguistic programming tenets – that the way a person behaves like a jerk with her doesn’t mean that he will behave like a jerk with you – and the NLP is considered by many a pseudoscience.

    You’ll have to defined ‘jerk’ since every person has a personal limit of bad attitude. Of course, if you fear human interactions so much because you don’t believe that anyone can be kind, you can denounced all human involvement and leave for the mountains. Human relationships always has some kind of risks to them, and people accept those risks to form relationships.

    At the same time, I am fully aware of the fact that my interests or hobbies are only there to fill up the time. I do tremendously enjoy the process, but I am fully cognizant of the fact that everything passes. I have yet to see evidence of the fact that life on Earth and me specifically is the result of something greater than a mere coincidence and chance. So what is the point if eventually the Sun will become a red giant and swallow Earth?…

    What kind of life do you wish for yourself then? What kind of meaning are you making for yourself?

    I am not a good team player, I work best on my own or when faced with one-on-one interaction. All my romances brought so many positive upbeat feelings (hormone “high”) that naturally I wanted them to last as long as possible. Just like my ex (I think), I thought that each one would the one “happily ever after” and I was ready to do all I could for it to continue, to become “one” with my partner and to be his pillar of support. I lack drive, and I thought that all my partners had it, knew what they wanted, were willing to do it and that their plans and visions were worthy of my wholehearted support. I could be a good queen or a minister’s or ambassador’s wife.

    Ever wonder if the fact that you feel attracted to drive is because you wish for it yourself, but fear the outcome should you actually want fame or fortune therefore the next best thing is to date someone who has it so that you can share that drive, but not take the burden of responsibility? Also, it seems as if you think happiness is something you achieve by being in a relationship, not something you choose.

    I understand this rationally, but I am unable to “feel” it. And when I try to rationalise it further, I just can’t see how you may love someone and yet not to find ways to make it work.

    Have you heard of cystic fibrosis? It’s an disorder that causes severe damage to the lung, digestive systems and for infants who is diagnosed with the genetic disease, the hospital is pretty much ‘home’ for most of their lives. It is very easy for these youths to be infected with bacterias which can be a life or death situations. For those with cystic fibrosis, they cannot come into six feet of those who have the same genetic issue because they can infect each other which, more than not, will lead to death. And wanting any romantic relationships with this genetic diseases is very hard, not to mention the young mortality rate.

    But love, affection, warmth; those are wired into the evolutionary genes that was inherited again and again by the humans on this earth. Even if it’s almost an impossibility for these people who has so little time and energy, they still wish to understand this thing called ‘love’. Of course, whether they engaged in a relationship or not is their choice.

    Love is not always about reciprocation but hoping for the other’s happiness and well-being, even if you can’t be with them.

    You must be much more enlightened than I am. I acknowledge the ephemeral nature of life, but I cannot help getting attached – all those feelings feel too real and last for too long for me not to act on them. 

    It’s not about not forming attachment, but rather letting those attachments go.

    I acknowledge the ephemeral nature of life, but I cannot help getting attached – all those feelings feel too real and last for too long for me not to act on them. 

    Why must you act on these attachments?

    Besides, I have experienced myself that when somebody thinks high of you, you want to become worthy of those thoughts, to rise above and beyond who and what you used to be. Oscar Wilde’s Ideal Husband is very insightful.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray paints a very different picture of ‘meeting’ the standards that someone else has set for you. And I myself have tried too hard to meet the expectations of others only to have more expectations placed on me so I will say that I have had enough of forcing myself to meet other’s high standards of ‘enough’.

    I think there is key difference in how I was brought up to approach dating. In my culture, one does not date to find out whether s/he will fall in love – they date exactly because they already like this person more than any other. It is more like going all out together in a group, as friends or colleagues, and then couples start to appear. It is not the “date > sex > I love you” sequence, it is “I love you > date > sex.”

    You have a very construed view of sex. Not all people will have sex on the first date nor will they have sex after a few dates. And not all people will have sex at all if they so desired. The media has over-exaggerated the need for people to have sex right after meeting each other, but not all people do that nor do they need to do that.

    Accordingly, it is assumed that if one goes out with somebody, they are exclusive. The concept of dating several people at once until that exclusivity rings very foreign to me.

    There are people who prefers polyarmory due to wanting more supports, more friendships and more people in their life. Being a couple in the modern age can be very isolating because the current era has adopted the view of ‘married for love’, but added on the expectations that your partner will be your one support in all of life. From your friend to your partner to your lover to anything, it is expected that your partner be everything as you ‘should’, supposedly, only depend on them. But that is more than a person can do seeing as they have their own life, but other people expect you to pair with your partner where ever you might go; from weddings to baby showers to parties, so it is alarming for you to go alone, or so the expectation goes. That’s why there is always the expectation that you should rely on your partner fire and foremost before relying on family or friends. But that also means that you rarely see friends and sometimes family because of work which makes your partner the person whom you’ll interact with the most yet even that can grate on the nerves. That’s why dating isn’t always about finding a partner, it is also about making connections that might evolved into a friendship.

    He says that he has polled around 3000 men and 3000 women, I would say that is a good selection.

    So if you were to give me his name then I could potentially find a few published articles on sites like JStor and such then? I’ve been more focused on neurology then psychology as of late.

    But, say, in terms of excusing, aren’t those two different situations when the guy doesn’t phone even though he potentially can (can’t he step out of a meeting if it is a real emergency, for example?) versus he doesn’t phone because he is out in the wilderness with no mobile service coverage?

    You’ll have to expand on this to make sense.

    Yet, his main point is that there are certain things that nearly (never 100%, but it can be 80%) all women tend to think this way whereas nearly all men tend to take it in a different way at different stages of a relationship. And these things are exactly what can undermine the development of the relationship now or become a time bomb that can explode several months or even years down the road, from the way what somebody said when getting acquainted up to all sorts of conflicts between married or living together couples.

    Does he mention anything about socialization because depending on the gender that people perceived you to be, they will ask different things of you. ‘Females’ are socialized differently than perceived ‘males’ as any sociologists whom studied culture will tell you. Just as women are socialized to marry young and create a family since generation pasts, men are socialized to be the breadwinner and workers and protectors, etc. That plays a certain role in relationships because perceived were taught to be tough and strong while perceived females were taught to be weak and gentle. So while a female might be asked in when she is getting married, a male might be asked in how many times he is having sex. Different ‘gender’, different expectations.

    But the main reason for my liking his books is that they are extremely practical in nature and do work. He had a book on how to recover from a breakup, and it helped me tremendously. He said that if one followed his advice, one would move past the most acute and horrendous early stage in two-three months no matter how long the relationship had lasted instead of about one year if one doesn’t do anything at all. It took me exactly about two-three months.

    I do not understand your emotional state so you are the one who have decided whether you have moved on, but I will caution you that emotions are something you can ignore so you can program yourself to think that you feel this way or that way without really processing those emotions as they are. Though still wondering about the status of your ex is something to reflect on.

    Robin Norwood’s Women Who Love Too Much was more to my liking, but yet, no matter how hard I looked inside myself, I could not see myself as one of those women (I read it while still with my ex).

    While females of alcoholic partners might continued the relationship on part because suffering is the measurement of their ‘love’; you, in turned, enshrined ‘waiting’ as the depth of your love. You only have hobbies to fill your time while you were willing to drop everything of your current life to follow your ex to his home country once you were married.

    The Five Love Languages was interesting. Yet, when I talked to my ex about it, he replied that all the “languages” were important. If you look deeper, isn’t it so? True, one may stand out, but all the other ones need to be present as well.

    Some people do not like having their birthdays celebrated or being surprised because their childhood dictated that such things were ‘traps’ thus should be avoided at all costs. Some people don’t like physical tough unless they initiated it and even then it’s only to the degrees of hugs or holding hands. Some people can’t listen to another saying “I love you” without being wary of what the other might want/demand from them and they might not be able to say such words themselves. Intimacy is truly individualized.

    What do you think about Helen Fisher and her love test that involves, among other things, such physical matters as which finger is longer than another one (testing what hormone is prevalent)?

    I’m not a physical-friendly person by nature nor do I want to have kids even now so I can’t really relate to caring about a person’s physical/hormonal traits so much. Though having a ‘romantic brain’ is a bit unusual when there are people who identified as aromantics in the world.

    Okay, here we come. Isn’t being flexible a good sign? That one is adapting to life’s changing nature rather than holding fast to what one believed to be true at some point? According to him, the circumstances had changed and he was no longer able to keep his promise.

    The keyword is ‘promise’. He had promised you that he would divorce to marry you yet changed that simply because circumstances dictated that he had to keep his marriage or else what? He would lose his job? How is being ‘married’ so important that he would lose his job? Does he live in China or something? If he really did want to marry you, he would have done everything in his power to make it possible, not sidelined that for his job.

    I am not trying to defend him, but don’t you agree that potentially a similar thing could occur to anybody?

    Nope. I am capable of quitting my job to be with someone who needs me, especially if they are important to me. Work can be found anywhere, relationships, not so much. Though, it also depends on what you make your priorities.

    You said that you ascribe to Buddhism. Doesn’t Buddhism involves compassion and understanding for all human beings?

    The Bible urge people to ‘love thy neighbor’ yet the world is still full of violence and hate. Though if you want compassion in the form of empty platitudes, then I can give you “your ex was a jerk, good riddance. You’ll find someone else soon enough. etc.” And leave it at that. Though if you must, my ‘compassion’ lies in the form of my writing my thoughts as they are rather than shallowly tell you good things happen to those who waits. There are already people who are willing to take the time to tell you such things, so if you expect as much from me then I will have to end our correspondence here since I am not living to work for someone’s else expectations.

    Besides, he kept all his other promises to me and other people, was valued by his peers, so his not keeping that particular promise seemed like an unfortunate confluence of circumstances, an exception to the rule.

    But the question lies in what kind of promises were he willing to make happen and which ones he only gave lip services to.

    As above, for some reason I suspect that he always maintains what now I perceive to be a distance from everybody. It really stands to reason that, as a young husband of 23 years old, who discovers that his wife will have another man’s baby, he consciously decides not to let everybody approach him too closely from now on.

    Did he not pursued married women himself? So what’s the pointing fingers at his own wife when he isn’t such a great person himself? How can he condone his own behavior when he won’t condone others’ much similar behavior? Though how much coincidences is it that he would married someone who is similar to him and then did it again and again, if I’m getting the story correct?

    It is not a mid-life crisis that urges older men to seek out much younger females, it is the need to boost ego again and since ancient times, men who ‘gets the girl’, spoken or unspoken, are seen as high ranking.

    No, he didn’t. I was the one who in Year 3 decided to “punish” him for not keeping his promise to divorce and we communicated only by texts and emails for three or four months. Same year, I decided to break free and stopped communicating altogether (having told him so – that I was done). He waited for three weeks and then emailed me a very touching letter, which, again, made me go back to him. I had tried to break loose one year before that, but lasted only two days myself.

    The keyword is ‘punish’. That you had to ‘punished’ him for not keeping his promise means that you were only throwing a tantrum and wanted him to soothe you. He did and you took him back. Same with walking away; that scream more that you were sulking and needed him to go after you for you to feel secure in the knowledge that he did want you, marriage or no marriage. Also, the ‘touching letter’ is definitely him understanding what buttons to push for you to take him back. He knew what you wanted so he did as such to placate you.

    Once he didn’t communicate with me for a week, but never repeated that after I spoke to him about it. It was always constantly being in contact – his phone call waking me up in the morning, his call when going home from work, chats or emails during the day, later on his call during my lunch time, then his call before he went to bed and, finally, my call waking him up.

    Does that not ring an alarm for you? The fact that you needed him to keep contacting you so that you can feel secure that he has not forgotten you? How insecure were you about the relationship that you needed to hear from him everyday?

    I think men, generally speaking, believe that asking for help makes them less manly.

    I did not realize that this was a socialization that society forces on males until a few years ago. In the view of society, males should only show confidence or anger, never fear or sorrow. And because of that, many of them are emotionally immature since they were not allowed to process their emotions, which caused an emotional stunt which lead to them fearing to show vulnerability to other people, even their partner. And that doesn’t help their intimate relationship because if they cannot express sorrow then they can only express anger which only alienate their partner from them.

    This is easy. I like to be in the right. On a certain level, I feel as if I can breathe if I am “vindicated” and his lovey-dovey relationship with her doesn’t make it past a certain time. I need to know that it wasn’t me and that any woman in my place wouldn’t have been wiser. I want to make sure that I am right about his inability to sustain a long-term loving relationship, that it is just how he is wired (and not willing to acknowledge it and not seeing the need to work on himself).

    By that account, you are still aware of him then. You are making this into a winner or loser scenario in which he was the one with the problems, not you, so that’s mean HE was right to dump you. His loss, right? You are definitely feeling vindicated if you can’t wish him well after your break up.

    Second, he was not merely maintaining the level of hi involvement in my/our life, he was revving it up. Doesn’t make sense.

    A man can buy his girlfriend an engagement ring, give it to her only to end their relationship the next few days. It has happen, it is not a uncommon as you think.

    He had no male friends (!) to brag about me.

    How was it that him having no friend(s) is not a red flag? Also, you then say he has friends now? Or is that before or after? Why is it that he can be on good terms with couples, but not with just people?

    In fact, sort of like me. When I fell for #1 and later on, it was in a big degree related to the fact that I was there, 23 years old, and I had never had a boyfriend. Something must have been terribly wrong with me. Hastiness never does good, that probably contributed to my poor choices.

    Not having a boyfriend is not an indication that you would be attracted to married men and have continued to do so. Somehow, your intuition in finding lonely married men who wouldn’t mind the attention of someone younger is a little too scary. Also, you were so sure that #1 was the person you were waiting for all your life apparently. If that’s not a heavy/quick judgment on your part, then what would it be called?

    I disagree. Say, when I had insomnia during the last year of high school, I read all sorts of books, but I needed that final push from a psychotherapist. I got that push, one session was enough. BUT the funny thing is that the psychotherapist thought that my insomnia was due to my teenage unhappy unrequited love which was not true at all. But how could I prove it to the therapist? The only thing I could do is say “This is not so.”

    So him telling you “this is not so” and shaking his head without considering your point of view as listening to you?

    What is it you don’t like in that version of mine that, since love lasts three years and we hadn’t seen each other for over half a year before he met that other lady, he fell – yet again! – head over heels in love and now had the additional incentive (that of a fresh passion) to divorce?

    What were your thoughts during that half a year that you decided to take him back?

    I still maintain my view that he would have divorced for me if that new lady’s and mine entrance in his life had been swapped in their order.

    Yet he was getting used to having a wife waiting at home and a mistress at the side to have a passionate affair with. Would he have disrupted that ‘balance’ for anything other than something new?

    By the way, I have recently had a chat with a former classmate of mine who confessed that he had decided family life was not for him exactly because for him, attachment never formed. Passion / infatuation died and that was it. Nothing took its place.

    Why are people so quick to decide something based on passion? If you haven’t read the research, ‘passion’ is merely the rush of dopamine in the brain so it’s not meant to be a long term thing. Rather, ‘passion’ is what was evolved from the homo sapien’s need to reproduce.

    Again, his only love affair (affair as in “sexual relationship, especially a secret one”) outside of wedlock was with me. Two of his partners were married indeed when he fell in love with them. But shouldn’t it have been for those women to ask their husbands’ permission for they were the ones who were cheating on their husbands and not him, for he was single at the time?

    So he never cheated on his first/second wife? Or was it an open secret with his wife that he had sex with others? Or is it that you don’t know the extent of his affairs as you think you do? Why would anyone ask for anyone’s permission to have an affair?

    If I truly like somebody, I always try to subtly show my interest in them (approach them, ask questions, ask for help in something, come up with an idea to go somewhere if we are already on such terms). I go from the premise that if he likes me, too, and may be shy, he will jump at the opportunity to talk, to help me out, to suggest something in turn.

    If you try subtlety on someone who is dense, then it’s a wonder if they ever catch on the fact that you might be interested. People flirt all the time, sometimes even unknowingly, that does not mean that they are serious. And their ‘like’ is probably nothing more than a passing attraction to you. Can you really say that ‘like’ can be developed simply because they might be interested in getting into bed with you? Honestly, the best thing to do is to simply ask them out a coffee date to talk.

    Another one told me that it seemed to her that I am a swirl of energy, which is certainly not true, because I am an introvert.

    Friendliness, if that is what you are implying, is not associated with introversion or extroversion. Nor is the level of energy a person has in general, that’s hormonal biology.

    One more idea that I came across somewhere made me delve deeper into myself. It was that I was attracted to those I was attracted to because they possessed something or could do something that I wanted to do, but did not allow myself to do because of manners, upbringing, etc.

    Why must you look for what you want in someone else? Why not try to possess those qualities yourself?

    I think the family portrait test means whether the man’s appearance is aesthetically pleasing to me, in my own way of what I personally find “aesthetically pleasing.” (appearance at first and then chemistry). It is a sort of a guarantee that I will glance at him twenty years from now and still find him appealing because I remember what it was what drew me to him in his appearance twenty years earlier and what chemistry I felt.

    You’re really focus on the chemistry aspect. What about the emotional compatibility?

    And I am sure that we would catch on like a house on fire from there.

    Your ‘like’ feels idealist because you don’t know much about the other person yet you are already fantasizing about them, imagining what they might do for you as a partner. You let that ’emotional’ spark of interest lead by the nose into hoping and waiting for the other to show interest. Because if he is interested, then he’ll asked you out, right?

    I do my best to consider all angles. Like you know, a detective does not try to prove one point of view, s/he collects all the facts and looks at them trying to see what they (facts) point at.

    I did just that with my ex, and my list was inconclusive as I pointed above.

    You list is also very decided on making your ex a narcissist. I gave you my thoughts, but you seem intent on the narcissist part. He has enough emotions to not be a psychopath (narcissist also has little to no emotions) while not really acting on his instinct so he can’t be a sociopath. He’s not anxious enough to have borderline personality disorder, but he’s not autistic as he can still read what your face is expressing. It doesn’t appear as if he has an attention disorder so it can’t be ADHD. He still has his memory intact so it’s can’t be dementia while he hasn’t been hallucinating so it’s doesn’t seem to be schizophrenia. You haven’t mention whether he had episodes of manic depression and then hyper activity so doesn’t seem to be bipolar. He’s not an alcoholic, but he does have a certain addiction if he keeps marrying and divorcing. But he has too much fear of appearing less than manly to let himself be vulnerable. Maybe he found someone to be vulnerable to with his current wife, who knows. It appears your ex certainly has empathy, but that empathy is/was directed towards himself. He also has a big ego and so do you.

    Easy. First, I want to be able to tell my mother that despite my not cooking, not know how to apply proper make-up, not painting my nails, not liking to wear skirts and dresses, I have a husband who adores me and takes care of me no less than my father takes care of her.

    Why is finding a partner about your mother’s low expectations for you, apparently? Why must it be about proving her wrong?

     I am not sure whether just any young man would be interested or capable to have a discussion that you and I are having here, by the way.

    Look at motivational speakers and life coaches if you wish for such a conversational partner.

    GL, on the rational, intelligent level, I understand that these are all “wants.” I agree with those who say that what is important, is that he is a good man and that he loves you and you love him. But these emotional “wants” are quite strong, and I can identify exactly what they are.

    Rather than emotional wants, I would call those qualities a ‘good resume’. Rich, status, career; all the things that society tells women they should look for in a partner. Look for a prince charming to provide for you, let him save you, etc. Hence why men complains that women are greedy and women complain that men aren’t good enough.

    Why do you think you can’t save yourself?

    And part of it, it seems that you are only dating these men because you want to spite someone, however you think you may feel for them.

    I am pretty, I am intelligent, I have so many virtues, why don’t I see worthy men lining up?

    That’s a good way of objectifying yourself. You’re pretty, intelligent, virtuous and so on, so why don’t men like you? But so what if you have all those things? How many women do you think exist on this Earth? How many do you think don’t have those virtues themselves? What makes you any different?

    I think this is where my problem with dating per se lies. I’d rather enjoy the other person’s company BEFORE I decide that I want to learn him better and before I go on a one-on-one date with him. And certainly before the usual sleepover on date 3.

    How would you know whether you’ll enjoy their company until you’ve talked with them?

    Also, if they say that only women with low self-esteem allow themselves to get involved with married men (and my #1 had a partner and both 2 & 3 were married, plus the “guy who led me on”), doesn’t it mean that I have a problem with my self-esteem? Shouldn’t I be more careful in what men I allow to approach me? I look around, and I have zero. And even back then, when I (supposedly) had low self-esteem, it was not exactly like men (all sorts of them) were lining up to date me.

    Rather then self-esteem, you seem to be searching for something in these ‘men’ of yours. And sorry to break it to you, but not everyone has the free time to worry about searching for a date for the weekends.

    I merely follow that psychologist’s advice to retain a positive picture of the relationship.

    Did you not allow yourself to mourn the end of that relationship?

    After all, I learnt a great deal, as much as one can from a partner who is older and more experienced, I had a good time and all that without any unpleasant consequences like loss of job or pregnancy or damaged reputation, etc.

    You seem to have the assumption that wisdom is only found in old age, but you can learn anything from anyone of any age. You only have to open your mind. But that you want ‘intelligent’ in your partner, it’s not surprising that you gravitate towards those older than you since you seem to link intelligence with old age.

    But I knew I was over him when I could imagine making love to the “guy who led me on.” Similarly, I am over that one because I can imagine being that close to that big boss guy who keeps locking eyes with me.

    Care to elaborate? How is that moving on?

    Oh yes, I do wonder what is going on with #2 whom I still meet now and then. He is the only one whom I can and will call if I have a major problem and with whom we exchange birthday and marry Christmas greetings.

    And I did wonder what motivations #1 had when we spent those two days together followed by nights at my place (no sex) and whether he was honest when he said that he had had a long-distance relationship in the past and could not sustain one more. Then why did he get involve with me I the first place? And how could he get involved with me when he already had a partner? Or him telling me about his partner cleared his conscience?

    The lonelier one is, the more one will seek companionship. It seem those men were lonely enough to take on your advances, not because they had desired you sexually, but because they simply wanted a friend or at least someone to talk to. They might have acted like a mentor to you during those times you were together, but it didn’t seem like they wanted you sexually.

    Oh no, none of that. It is just that my mother would often bring up the way romance developed between her and my father to point out two things – that one can feel nothing towards somebody (crucial detail – nothing, but not aversion as I normally do) and then fall in love (she) and that a man truly in love would behave just like my father did at that winter ski resort.

    You can become friends with someone first and then develop romantic feelings for them later. You do not have to feel strongly for them in the beginning, there’s no requirements to forming attachments.

    But I would retort that that was exactly like my ex behaved – he even brought me a kettle with temperature settings for tea when he came back! Not to mention other things comparable to what my Dad was doing when courting Mother.

    It is easy to woo someone; observed their habits and lifestyle then do things that would make them notice that you’ve taken them into consideration. It is especially easy if you are attracted to them in some way.

    One can really talk about 100% faithfulness to each other only when both are on their death beds, can’t one?

    Even if that faithfulness simply mean that they are friends and not partners? That perhaps because they do not have much time left, they settled for a relationship with no feelings or merely the feelings of friendship? Is that so much better than being betrayed and breaking up?

    No, I haven’t heard of this book. But your description of him reminds me of Natalie Lue’s characteristics of narcissists and of my ex – “lather, rinse, repeat.”

    His behavior is labeled as ‘co-dependent’ due to his addiction/need to forming relationships with young women of 20s. He has a large ego which he would not risk vulnerability due to the fear of rejection. He seek validation from women because he cannot soothe his own heart. His emotional maturity is at the level of a adolescent because he is a child trapped in the body of an adult man. Or simply, he has not developed his emotional level to that of an adult.

    Say, if I reproached him his behaviour, he would tell me exactly that – that I was a grown-up, that I entered the relationship with open eyes, that he never lied to me and that it is not his fault that he fell in love with somebody else – doesn’t it happen all the time all around us?

    I don’t know if you entered the relationship with open eyes, but you did allow yourself to be wooed by him. You allowed yourself to believe his promise of marrying you. You allowed yourself to be addicted to this past affair. He might not have lied to you, but he had certainly hid the status of his new relationship. Or did he told you that you were the only one? Because you did write that he stopped mentioning ‘the divorce’ a few years in when it was not possible. While it was not his fault that he fell for someone else, he could have been honest with you rather than kept you in the dark. But did you ever see signs that he was pulling away? The ‘revving things up’ seems more like an admission of guilt than his wanting to keep the relationship going strong. Your #1 and #2 might not have told you that they would divorced, but why is it that you believed #3?

    I can’t say I take promises seriously anymore since people can talk, but it is only when the deed is done can you see that any person’s words were not a lie.

    Well, I am right more often than not when I don’t like somebody or something after several interactions.

    Your reply to Michelle speak otherwise.

    One more lady. I have never experienced “love at first sight,” but I did experience, well, not hatrid, but “unlove.” It turned out it was mutual “unlove.” I behaved and continue to behave completely neutral and decent towards her – “nothing personal, business as always.” After some time at work, she decided that she could plot and intrigue around everybody, so now everyone is aware that she is not a good reliable colleague, that one can expect anything from her.

    Did I not asked whether you were prone to taking on the emotions of other? If that lady didn’t like you, your intuition wouldn’t be quiet about it.

    One concern:

    I think that for some reason I never forget how I felt at different stages in my life, in different places and with different people. My parents are sometimes surprised at how well I remember what took place when I was 6, 9, 11 years old and so on. The answer is simple – I have some anchors in my memory as to what events took place in those years and LOTS of emotions associated with those events. I can very well remember how I felt and how I reasoned then.

    Are you still holding onto these as grudges? Or have you resolved them and are able to let them go?

    Well, have a pleasant week. Til next time.

    #300143

    GL
    Participant

    PPS.

    Tchaikovsky had written letters to family and friends, discussing his depression. In many of those letters, he had belittled his existence, wondering for whose sake he worked, but all the while desperately clinging on to those days where he was okay with himself, ‘thorns and roses’ as he puts it, even as his depression served as background noise. Van Gogh was not so lucky, constantly visiting the psych ward. Virginia Woolf held on until she could not find the strength to continued. Rembrandt had used his depression as a medium, as did Poe. Keats lamented his inability to put words to paper many times. Hemingway medicated with alcohol. Tolstoy ruminated on his depression in “A Confession”, though he felt a failure for not having the courage to commit suicide. History is littered with despair, but the psychological field is only a century old. There is still much to be studied, but like all science, it must be adapted to the current era.

    It’s fine to not know the particulars, but don’t simply lump or categorized depression as ‘a person who does not have the strength to move from their bed’ when you have only looked so far as a few articles depicting one of the more severe forms of depression. If it took that much to be labeled ‘depression’, then many of the world’s population would not know what to do with themselves since if it’s not depression that they feel, then why does the world look like it was painted in ‘a gray drizzle’, as William Styron had depicted in his memoir, ”Darkness Visible”.

    Whatever might look ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ is perhaps normal to someone, depression and all.

    #299973

    GL
    Participant

    PS. You’re quick to make a judgement and quick to assume that others have made a judgement of you. But you’re not quick to ask for clarifications. Rather, once you’ve made a choice/judgement/decision, you’ll stick to that decision without desiring to change it, for better or worse sometimes.

    So what’s the line between steadfastness and being bullheaded?

    #299895

    GL
    Participant

    Hello X,

    Glad to hear that you had a good vacation.

    Generally speaking, I agree. I would also agree with the statement that villains are “bad,” because they murder others – but heroes also murder, so from that point of view heroes are “bad,” too. Still, heroes hardly ever torture villains, but villains do it all the time. So there might be a very fine line that, nevertheless, makes all the difference.

    But not all villains murder just as not all heroes don’t murder. It’s simply how the writer had written their story. Take Rapunzel, the worse the Witch had done was raised Rapunzel in a tower for most of her life since her biological parents had stolen her cabbages. But that’s not all that dissimilar to many ancient societies with females raised in their homes, with not much chance of going outside (though many societies in the Middle East still have a similar setting now), until they were married out to their husband, most of the times the husband could have been their grandfather’s age too. Yet the Witch is the villain while the heroine, Rapunzel, was able to escape her prison and lived with her prince after a few years apart. For all her effort of raising Rapunzel, the Witch was repaid by betrayal of her trust. But she did not killed the prince nor Rapunzel, rather, she gave them a trial to which they both were able to overcome. Of course, her method of raising Rapunzel isn’t all that great since she was sheltering Rapunzel from all the possible evil in the world, not letting Rapunzel make the effort to live on her own feet, but you can’t say that the Witch didn’t care for Rapunzel. Yet, there is not knowing whether the Witch was able to find her own peace after banishing Rapunzel from her childhood home. Fairy tales may have been written a few centuries past, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be adopted to modern terms, just the question of how they were adopted.

    And accordingly, depending on the society and environment that the villains were raised in, it is hardly surprising that they turned cruel, if only that was the best method for survival. Not many have the fortune to not turn to ‘crime’ to survive in their environment.

    Not quite. The child may have the freedom to explore beyond, but s/he can get his/her hands only on what is out there in that “beyond.” I am glad that I had a good library of books to choose from at home, I also borrowed books from one of the biggest libraries in the city. Yet, the children’s section wouldn’t have the grown-up versions of the familiar fairy-tales, so even if I had known about them and wanted to read them, I wouldn’t have been able to do it in a regular fashion.

    There was a big library with many selections so why did you not venture beyond the children section? Or did your parents check your selections before you were allow to bring home the books? I did not have much interest in fairy tales until my teens, just the usual passing knowledge, but even then, it was due to an interest in Greek mythology so they were just interesting comparisons.

    I would argue that if you are riddled with depression, you are hardly functioning. I have read accounts of people who can’t get out of bed because of depression.

    Or if you are suffering because of lack of sleep due to depression or anxiety, you are hardly yourself. I’d say that is beyond “surviving.”

    That depends on how good a person is hiding their life behind closed doors. If depression is not new, but a constant companion, people can usually ignore it until they are in a place that they don’t have to act ‘normal’. Normal, of course, is relative since not all things depressing will lead to depression and not all things happy will not lead to it.

    At the same time, I agree that I don’t know how soon I would have gotten tired of it. Normally, what helps me to decide whether to go for it or not, is to imagine really hard how I would feel in that situation a year from then or two years. Well, I tried to imagine myself living with him in my home city, and I didn’t feel any apprehension or doubts. That is until I learnt about his new love. Now I am convinced that if I had moved back, he would have fallen in love just like that after several years side by side, and I would have been left high and dry and back at square one. And there would have been no coming back here where I am now and where I really enjoy my life (if we don’t count lack of a partner).

    As much as you can imagine your possible feelings after a year, you’ll have to acknowledge that you don’t know how your ex would have acted. Since you were able to convinced yourself that he loved you enough to divorce, or maybe not since he cared about his career more?, and then married you, the moving hinging on the fact that you would be married, you might have been able to give up your life of where you were to accommodate him. But that raises a lot of questions. You like your job a lot and your many hobbies and it doesn’t seem that you dislike your many colleagues, but to give up all of that without much resistant just because your ‘husband’ wanted you to move to his home country? Just how high of a pedestal did you put your relationship with your ex that you were willing to give up all that? Or is it that while you have hobbies and a good career, it’s not something you feel you should invest into, regardless if it’s something you’re doing for yourself? Then what are you investing in for yourself?

    What is “real love” in your opinion? There are plenty of examples in literature when the person loves in such a manner that s/he is ready to give his or her life for the person in question, but only if it is here and now, but not ready to toil for a long time in squalid conditions.

    I don’t know if my definition of love will do anything for you because your point of view is quite different from mine. Because it seems that love, to you, is a check list of things you do for someone rather than just an emotion you feel for someone. Love seem to conquer all for you, lasting into the human ‘forever’. But for me, you can love someone you don’t want to be with for whatever reasons you may have. Be it romantic, platonic or familial, not all love take on a physical form and I believe that’s fine. Love doesn’t always last and not all relationship will not have it’s deadline. Though I ascribe to the five remembrances of Buddhism of how life is ephemeral so holding on isn’t something I do.

    Knights willing to win over a fair princess’s heart and spend some time doing it are long gone.

    You have to wonder if the princess the knight is wooing is based on the objective reality or someone they have crafted an ideal image of.

    Not quite. What is the problem with saying something along the lines “I would like to suggest the following for our date. Would you like to do it or do you have anything else in mind?” That shows that they have put in their own effort AND that they value my needs and opinion at the same time.

    It is apparently chivalry to ask the female her opinions of where she wants to go and then go to said place to show how open minded the male is. Though if the person was more dominant or just like to make a decision, then they would just choose somewhere to go then inform you. It could show that they have good taste if they take you to somewhere you didn’t know of and liked from first impression. Of course, if the male does not care, then they’ll take you to wherever. But placing so much emphasis on how they ask you out on the first date is a little heavy in that they might not know you nor do you know them, superficial level doesn’t give much info and time doesn’t even give that much information either. If you feel disgust, that’s fine, drop them. But one first date does not give you much information on any person.

    Surely, they can’t me expect to sleep with them for a glass of mineral water?

    For your sake, I hope not.

    Yes. You see, stereotypes are alive and well. It is generally assumed that all women want to get married. It is generally assumed that any woman past 30 wants to get married even more. It is generally assumed that all women want to have children. So a woman in her mid-30s must be desperate to get married and have children.

    Worse than that. The stereotype about women from my country is that they are pretty and make great wives or housewives.

    So when men meet me, see that I am in my mid-30s, pretty and learn that I am of such and such nationality, their immediate assumption is that I am driven by a desire to marry, have children and be a housewife / homecoming queen. That is what they think where I am coming from, and only a few have tried to get acquainted with “me” as I am and not a “pretty girl from XYZ.”

    You’re also projecting your prejudice into your posts. No one can see you nor do they know your background unless you deemed it appropriate to share any informations in your posts. Though I don’t know the kind of men you seem to be meeting, if that’s pretty much the kind of people you are meeting, it might be time to visit a place that you normally don’t visit, but a place that hold an interest of yours should you not meet anyone interesting.

    GL, you might have noticed that I tend to write “I think,” “I suppose,” “in my opinion.” That is why I asked you whether you had any background in psychology because I would really love to know what kind of a person my ex was. I read a whole series on man-woman relationship written by a Ph. D. in psychology. Those books were NOT popular articles that sometimes pop up on the internet or can be found in a Cosmopolitan magazine. Now he would often make a caveat that there is a possibility you are dealing with a psychologically peculiar man, but “such cases are few and far between, it is very unlikely that yours is one of them.” Yet, narcissism, especially covert narcissism can be masked under so many “normal” things that it might not be easy to learn the true nature of the guy in question unless you are a specialist.

    Besides, for some situations, he would say that they could be excused only if “your man is in a special task force, test pilot, explorer, geologist, deep-sea captain – or any of those adrenaline-driven professions.” Well, to complicate the matters, my ex and the area he works in is exactly one of those rare adventurous fields. So “normal” could not be applied to him by definition. Not an office job.

    As someone with a background in economics, or soon to be past background?, I can’t say that I like many of the books published in the psychological realm, or research paper sometimes. Many of them has participants that doesn’t go past a hundred, so it can’t be compared to the populations of thousands, millions or billions. The researches rarely is peer reviewed, if at all, because not many are willing to read and look over a long book versus a research paper. And to use their own patients mean that there is a factor of subjective bias. That, and for the doctor to excuse people into certain categories just because of their jobs/careers when dopamine and cortisol is still a subject that many neuroscientists are uncertain about? Not to mention that the molecular wiring of the brain is still up for debate. It doesn’t seem that that doctor has taken into consideration neurological factors when women are also part of that high adrenaline career path, if only a little in numbers. Nor does it seem that he has considered gendered stereotypes. And excuse me, but did you happen to read the book ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’? Because that was not peer reviewed. Many others have also called it pseudo-science.

    All humans have a narcissistic characteristic, it’s just show up differently for each person.

    You did give a linked to the definition of narcissism from a relationship help website/podcast.

    • ego-centric fuel by affection and admiration

    Maybe. I can’t really tell since he was taking all his successes in a dignified manner and hiding his satisfaction with his achievements all too well. He surely doesn’t behave like Mr. Trump.

    There’s covert and subvert egoism. It also depends on how you see egoism. And his satisfactions with his achievement meant to continued receiving praise, he had to work the room to his side, not make enemies.

    • manipulating your hope and intentions

    Again, I cannot confirm it. Doesn’t life get in the way of the best intentions? Just look at John’s thread “I feel like i ruined my girlfriends life.” He has wanted to part ways with his girlfriend since October, made some progress, but now too many things have happened (grandmother in hospital, grandpa having a heart attack, pregnant daughter bleeding in emergency room, etc. etc.) to continue. I can’t say that I would have behaved differently if I had been in his place. Though I do have that “leave it to fate” attitude. That is if I said that I would do it by time X, I have to do it by time X and come what may be. He said he couldn’t do it then. Isn’t it his choice? Besides, I am probably not that into my career as he was. And no regular definitions would apply to his field, so who am I to judge?

    His job may be demanding, but he still chose to stayed married for the sake of his career, which means that he had put his career before you. He constantly(?) told you that he would divorce his wife, bordering on five/six years, when his career would stabilized, but he still chose his career. You really can’t judge how difficult his job is, but you can certainly judge his choice to choose his career which means he stayed married even though he told you that he would divorce. And he did, but only to married someone else. You could have judged that his words then meant nothing past the first year so it would have been better to break up and moved on, but you still chose to judged his words as the truth and so decided to wait for him.

    • obviously has issues with intimacy

    How can you tell??? This fits a narcissist, doesn’t it?

    Anyone with trust issues will have issues with intimacy.

    • and the ability to speak somewhat eloquently yet has done little to back up his words (dishonesty and poor communications, MIA for few months)

    Again, I can’t say that I would have behaved in a different way if I had been in his shoes. There were a lot of things that I wouldn’t know – and he wouldn’t tell (and aren’t men supposed to sit in their caves and not divulge a word to women?) And when I talked to his peers, 90% of what he had told me was confirmed by them when they discussed similar situations that had happened to them.

    Have you read Virgina Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’? It advocates that every women writer should have money and a room where they can write, but in that sense, it can be translated in that any person with money should have the space to pursue their hobbies and interests, time to themselves, without the interference from anyone, lest of all their family. That your ex didn’t feel the need to communicate with you about important things say a lot about his view on your relationship.

    As for ghosting me (MIA for two months one month after meeting his new love), isn’t it unfortunately how more and more people choose to end relationships nowadays? It seems like a pandemic now. True, not very nice of him, but he is by far not the only one. Even one of my girlfriends did that to me out of desire to be nice, I presume. She said that she was going to another country and would write to me once settled. After I poked her with emails three times (I do three), to no avail, I left her alone.

    Didn’t he ghost you for a month or two, then emailed you about something love and you decided that his ghosting didn’t matter and so got back together with him?

    • Has he ever shown you his absolute vulnerable side (no?)

    That probably no. Although, a couple of times he mentioned how afraid he had been of something, but I would learn of it only long time after the event. But again, don’t “real men” keep silent about their fears?

    Wouldn’t you feel hurt if a close friend didn’t ask you for help in times of need? If your ex had trust you, wouldn’t he have been honest with you about his issues and then worked on it with your support?

    • Does he resent his exes, former friends, colleagues or family for any of his ‘misfortune/depression’?

    Well, I first learnt about the out-of-wedlock baby from Wife #1 from a older lady who had worked with him a long time ago. She wasn’t even telling the story to me, she was gossiping with another lady, and I happened to overhear. However, when he told me about it himself, he simply recounted it as a story from a book – as I may recount my love story with him after so many years now.

    As for Wife #2, he does resent her somewhat. At the same time, his coworkers were not of too high opinion of her, so I don’t know how well-grounded that resentment is. In fact, I even wonder if he is resenting me now because he convinced himself that I had cheated on him with the “guy who led me on” chronologically before he cheated on me – and so I was the one to leave him per say?

    You know, we first agreed to stay friends. We agreed that he would monitor my travel mobile phone balance and I would watch over his bank account in this country. And then some time later, I decided to check my phone balance and it was closer to zero! Imagine what a wonderful surprise that would have been if I had been travelling!

    Then he borrowed some money from me promising to return in a year’s time. A year passes, nothing happens. He comes to this country and at the same time I go to mine. No email, no phone message upon return. No one passes the money to me on his behalf. I write him an email. He doesn’t respond for two weeks. I write another one. No response. (Need to add that he religiously checks his email every evening and has all text notifications set on his phone.) Only after I angrily sent him two texts one after another did he write back. Sorry, sorry, was on a business trip, see your message only now. Sorry, I don’t buy it. He did return everything in the end and, on my side, I closed his bank account here and returned the balance to him, but he had never behaved in a similar way with me in our six years nor is he known to behave like that to anybody.

    And when he comes here, he brings small tokens of appreciation to everybody – sweets, boxes of chocolates and gives them to everybody in my presence, but not me.

    More than that. Once when I happened to be in the room, he was calling somebody to reserve a business ticket for his wife. I still wonder whether that was intentional (he could have done that before I had come in – he knew I would be coming) or he merely crossed me out of his life so he doesn’t care what I hear or see. He doesn’t need me now, so he ignores me and shows his appreciation to those who can still be of use to him. But it does all seem like small acts of revenge, doesn’t it? What would you say?

    You’re over-thinking this. Whether he is or isn’t should not be on your radar, rather, the question is why are you still aware of his actions? Another question, why are you still friend with him?

    • Did he like being depended on (took responsibility for you in some way)?

    Yes, but it wasn’t without contradictions. He would insist on waking me up with a phone call and on me saying good night to him, but at the same time once didn’t phone me for an entire week (it was in Year 3), so I started to worry. Yet, when I called him out on it, he said that nothing had happened, and similar things never repeated until the fateful Year 6.

    Likewise, I remember a couple of cases when he knew that I would be late home, yet he didn’t phone to make sure I did get home. But it was literally a couple of times.

    You write that I may have known after Year 4 or so that he was a “only a mask of no-risk passion.” Not at all. Actually, Year 3 was the bottom when I first decided to “punish” him for not divorcing at the time indicated (but he had his own reasons that I had to accept afterwards) and we communicated only via texts for four months. Then, after one more event that should have brought about the divorce, I stopped communication all together. He wrote me a very touching letter after three weeks of silence, explained his reasons, and I had to give in. At the same time, some encouraging things took place: he started phoning me at lunch and EVERY DAY before going to bed no matter whether his wife was at home or not (she worked shifts), he arranged for a six-month business trip here (his coworkers later told me that he was “desperate” to go on that business trip) and then one more six-month business trip here next year.

    He had you hooked. He knew what to do to keep you from leaving him because he probably doesn’t like the fact that people can leave him therefore it is up to him to decide when to end the relationship while you didn’t have a vote. That’s the fear of rejection, doing whatever it is to prevent being rejected and then doing the rejecting. That’s stemmed from the feeling that if he was the one to reject you then he would retain a sense of control over the situation.

    When I booked a trip of my own in a very distant country, he bought me a travel phone with a few SIM cards and took care of it watching the balance. He also took care of all my computer-related stuff (antivirus and similar).

    Yet, when I look back now, it kind of feels as if he decided that, since he was so much in love, he was supposed to do X, Y, and Z. As if he did those things to prove to himself, to show to himself to what degree he was in love with me, but was not doing all those things out of real love or concern for me.

    It does feel as if he lacked empathy (again, a sign of a narcissist). For instance, when we lived here together, he witnessed my fall from a horse. Nevertheless, not a single time he asked me afterwards how I felt. Barely a week later I hit myself badly on a corner. Developed a huge bruise. Never did he ask me how that bruise was doing. I compare him to my father – my father would have asked me for several days in a row until I would say that it nearly stopped hurting.

    If he truly didn’t have empathy, then he would be a psychopath. But it doesn’t seem that he has exhibited extreme behavior so that’s on hold. NPD will also exhibit extreme behavior too. But you can’t compared your father to your ex, they are and will always be two different person.

    Or else he would ask me how I was doing just to start a conversation. He would never ask me how my grandmother was doing even though I would often communicate my concerns about her health to her and even though he knew how dear I held her.

    On the other hand, to do him justice, he noticed something that I repeatedly did and what could be a symptom of a grave illness and made me go to check it out. Not even my parents had paid attention to that.

    Or a few other examples. Say, when I broke my limb at a martial arts class and told him, he immediately arranged for me to see a doctor friend of his, without telling me first. That is after our conversation, he phoned me again and told me to go and see such and such.

    My old place was infested with cockroaches. Even my #2 would do nothing about them. My ex undertook buying all sorts of traps and basically barricaded the perimeter of the location with them. I didn’t have the pest problem any more.

    When I moved to a new place, he assembled all the furniture items for me (to do my #2 justice, he helped me to move a sofa and a bed and assembled a writing table when my ex was out of the country), patiently spent hours in stores choosing appliances (and giving valuable advice) and worked on the lighting fixtures and wiring where he knew what to do. At the beginning of his stay, I would tell him what needed to be done and he would do it whenever he had time. Sometimes, something would not be done until the eve of his departure, but he would still remember that and still do it even if it meant going to bed later. (I wouldn’t remind him on purpose to see if he would remember.)

    Also regarding those phone calls. At that time, he would have to buy cards in order to phone me. It was cheaper for him to phone me using those cards than for me to Skype him on his mobile phone, yet his salary was about one-third of mine at the time, so all those phone bills represented a considerable financial investment on his part not to mention his investing time and attention as I am describing above. When we Skyped each other and it was his morning, we would talk for at least 40 minutes before he was off to work.

    I sometimes think that he falls in love (read feels sexual arousal towards a woman) so rarely that every time this happens, he thinks that the woman is sent from above and starts rooting for her.

    If a person isn’t known to him, there’s little need to care about them. But since you are next to him and was his side mistress, then he has to show some concern. And if that concern is noticeable to other people, i e helping you move into a place, then all the better because you can talk about it to other people or other people can notice it and praise him. That’s covert egoism, doing things when other people are in the area so that they can see for themselves what a ‘good person’ he is. It seems that the ‘good person’ is the image he is painting for himself.

    • Did he show sign of needing approval from those around him (work and friends)?

    No. And I don’t know whether he was hiding it deep down as narcissists might.

    He did ask me a few times whether I thought he was not becoming too fat (he wasn’t, but he had lost his lean figure when he turned 46 – all of a sudden – and never returned).

    He care immensely for his career, right? Enough to not get a divorce?

    • Was he able to take criticism from you (no?)?

    Again, not sure. He would just calmly say, “This is not so” or “You are mistaken.”

    That’s plainly not caring about your opinion or side of the argument.

    What is NPD looking for?

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    He never had side mistresses before me. And when he fell in love anew, he happened to have two (but he stopped communicating with me after one month).

    But he did have affairs so let’s called a spade a spade.

    Please see above. I can list a few more things that, to my mind, were a clear indication of his serious intentions at the time. When he (according to him) realized that the career situation was still not conducive to his divorce, he started saying that he didn’t know when he could divorce and he would not give me any new date since he had already given a few and could not hold them. But he would divorce, that is for sure. (How noble, wasn’t it?)

    I also need to add that in Year 6, my voicemail got an accidental recording of his quarrel with his wife over their holiday together. They never went anywhere except to his parents’. (With me, we travelled as much as I wanted and as much as his schedule would allow him.) That recording confirmed to me as to the nature of their relationship and that his wife still thought she could have him back (again, just as he was telling me). So frankly, given how much time had passed and all that, I was 100% positive, as sure as never, that he would sooner or later divorce.

    He might have noble intentions from the beginning, but for it to take six years just doesn’t cut it, at least not for me. Anyone can talk, but for them to walk the walk is much harder. No matter the nature of their relationship and how much he valued his career, your ex did not file for divorce until he met his next wife. What does that tell you?

    As far as I know, they are still together, but for some reason or other, her posts now of their happy life together are few and far between. I think I wrote already how he presented her with a plush toy, a balloon and flowers for two birthdays in a row? Well, this year there was nothing. And for two years in a row she writes an essay on “How much I love him” on his birthday and posts it for her friends to see, and he doesn’t even bother to say, “Thank you, my love.”

    Why are you still keeping tab on their relationship?

    GL, I wrote about his past love life. I’d say it is a mix of things, but I was the only one with whom he had an affair outside of his marriage before his current wife. I don’t think that any of his love stories can be called “sordid.” More than that, when I asked around, a few of my friends aged 25 or so said that they had had more partners than his number of six at that point at the age of 45. So I thought that he had made some poor choices pure and simple. But so hadn’t I, with my #1 and 2?

    Having a range of partners does not mean that they were married while having those relationships, unless they practice polyarmory. That your ex had practice having affairs while married without the consent of his spouses showed that he had little respect for his marriage or his spouse.

    In fact, my mother’s cousin has just did something similar. Good solid family, a daughter my age and a grandson. She falls in love with an alcoholic, insists on divorcing her husband, he doesn’t want to then agrees. The guy lives with his mother, ditches her for another woman, then his mother dies, then he dies. The property goes to his daughter, and both mistresses are left with nothing. She returns to her ex-husband who by then had had a platonic affair (or so he says). Now they live together as a family, only don’t sleep together. Real story.

    Each person has different needs at different stages of their life. If having no sexual components, but still doing fine and dandy, then why bother commenting?

    How can I change the cycle? I agree that potentially I might fall in love with someone to whom I don’t feel aversion (so that I don’t feel that I am wasting time with him), but for that he would need to make up his mind to court me, to be patient, to win me over. I haven’t yet met such a man.

    A relationship takes time so it’s fine to want them to woo you, but you’ll have to do your part by also wooing them. Though I wonder what kind of image are you actually presenting to people. Certainly, biases do exist, but there’s also the impression that you are leaving on people too.

    The family portrait comparison determines whether the man is attractive to me, that is whether potentially I could kiss him and make love to him. Yet, I have met men whom I liked at first glance, but after a few chit-chats didn’t like them or  they were not interested or, worse, I felt their bad breath, so my liking them disappeared into thin air.

    So you want someone with good hygiene and not smelly breath. It also seems that your intuition takes on the form of that family portrait.

    I don’t think it is a question of being safer or not. I guess I just like the position of somebody who is offered a choice or an assortment (of activities, for instance) and that I am the one who chooses. Don’t they say that it is the woman who eventually chooses the man? With a caveat, though – the woman can choose the man only from those who offer themselves to her. That is where I have a bit of a problem as described above. I think my ex was the only one so far who persisted in communicating with me and trying to win me over for two months after our initial meeting. And all that communication was done from another country. And we hadn’t even kissed by that point. I have yet to meet a man who would like me enough to want to show me that he is a reliable person whom I can fall in love with.

    I prefer that both people chose each other irregardless of the choices. So your ex is your first serious relationship then? What exactly is reliable?

    Like I write above, nowadays it is either “I like you – you like me = good, let’s sleep together” OR “I like you – you don’t like me = no prob, I’ll find another one.” Neither one suits me even if I like the man.

    What would work for you then?

    First, I am convinced that the first step must be made by the man. The woman can give out signs that she likes the man, but the first invitation needs to come from the man. I broke that rule with #1 beings so enthralled by feelings and emotions (I threw my arms around his neck the minute we were left alone and told him that I had waited for him for 12 years!) and by “the guy who led me on” – I told him I was romantically interested in him and before that I had offered to watch a few films together. But in neither case, anything serious came out of it.

    Your experiences of wooing and being woo has both gone in a negative direction. So it can’t be said that one way or the other is good or bad, merely situational. If you prefer to being woo, that’s your preference. But the main question for you should be; are you looking at the situation as it is and not how you wish it was? You feel deeply for others, but that can also lead you to excuse the behaviors of others merely because they are someone important to you. Even now, you are defending the actions of your ex. Don’t do that, that’s not helping you. You have to look at your situation without any subjective favor or disfavor, the opposite of what you usually tend to do.

    Besides, don’t they often say that women are often dreaming and fantasizing about a “prince on a white horse” and don’t notice good hard-working guys around them? Well, I look around and I don’t see any good reliable guy who keeps hinting me that he is the one for me. And when I looked around and made a conscious effort to like somebody, I ended up with #1 and, to an extent, #2.

    I don’t believe I know many that care for the ‘prince on white horse’ analogy, but it does seem that you do. You want to be saved from something, but I can’t determine what that is. Or maybe it’s your idealism that is too high? But the princes that was adopted to modern time was merely a figure head of money and status. In Cinderella; he chose her for passion while nothing is known about him other than he might be handsome, but he at least has the money and status. Snow White; situational saving from death, that or necrophilia. Sleeping beauty; he did defeat the dragon though they made Maleficent to be less than powerful, so rigged in his favor (there was no dragon in the original). Beast was a plot device for Beauty (though it was originally her fault he almost died). In Rapunzel, he lost his sights until he was reunited with Rapunzel again. Mulan saved the country (depending on the dynasty, that might or might not be okay for a woman to be so active outside of her home), Pocahontas chose to sacrifice herself (white-washed story). Aladdin wasn’t even a part of the 1001 tales, the medieval Arabic text. So what exactly is your ideal ‘prince’ seeing as you are still enamored with it, or at least enough to mention it?

    Don’t you think that liking each other should come effortlessly to both people in question? Without either one chasing the other?

    Rather than chase, I prefer effort. If the other person is not willing to put in effort for the relationship to thrive, then are they expecting you to do all the work while they frolic around? That’s a big NO to anyone who expects that. But turn that around and question yourself how much effort you are willing to put into the relationship and why. The why is especially important because it lay the foundation for your relationship with each other while the effort is the building block.

    In addition, it seems like I oscillate between “I am in love so I am totally co-dependent on my partner and have to make a mental effort to get down to things that I enjoyed doing before meeting him” and “I enjoy being busy in my own way that I have no time for romance.” One of the psychologists back from the 70s whose essays on love I read when recovering from the breakup with my ex, wrote that the remedy to co-dependency lies in the mantra “It is good to be with you, but if I am by my self, it is even better!” I wonder if I have unconsciously taken that to the extreme?

    You might be. It feels that whatever advice you are given to do, you’ll do it just to test if it fits into your schedule, but that eventually wears off. On the other hand, it feels that your check list is there for the sake of ‘control’. You have a schedule that you’ll keep to because it’s easier to follow a schedule, to have something to do, to keep busy. There’s also your criteria for men, in that they have to pursued you for awhile before you are sure you want to be serious? But that’s dating, isn’t it? Enjoying people’s company for a period of time to determined how serious you wish for the relationship to be. But considering that your ex is your first serious relationship, you probably jumped the gun in thinking that he was ‘the one’. The last two relationship didn’t work well and it didn’t seem that they even tried to pursued you. Then come along a man who would gallantly woo you so it set off your romantic clock in thinking, I want this relationship to last ‘forever’. He gave you what you wanted so you didn’t want to let him go. That’s why you excused his selfish behavior, for even now it seems that you have rose tinted glasses when you think of him. You are even trying to look for an excuse for his behavior, for if he is a narcissist, then it can’t be help that he hurt you?

    If you don’t want a family, that’s fine. Simply look for a guy who wants the same thing. But right now, you need to address your hold on your ex. It doesn’t seem you are over him, you still look at his wife’s social media to understand their current relationship status. You still wonder if he is a narcissist, which is why you can’t get over his callous act of dumping you. You don’t wonder if your other exes were narcissist, only this one. Or are you still envious of your parents’ story and relationship that you wondered why it didn’t worked out the same for you? Why does this seem like a competition for you? Why must what happened for your parents occur for you? Or is it that you simply feel more comfortable if life took on a similar path since you can predict the outcome? Again, there’s the control part. It seems as if you don’t wish for any chaotic factor in your life thus hope to replicate what happened to others so that you might predict your partner’s actions and reactions and make the correct reaction in turn. After all, a human forever can only last so long, but death is at least predictable. And a prince on the white horse is perfect in that he’ll love and never leave, or at least you won’t have to worry about the ‘forever’ part.

    Have you heard of the memoir ‘The Art of the Pimp’ by Dennis Hof? Written by a man who owns a brothel, he wrote of his experiences while including some narratives from those around him, namely his prostitutes. It is interesting on how sexist Hof is while also telling the world that he loves women and that his gift to women is his ability to pleasure them. That, and he displayed co-dependent behavior in that he would jump from one relationship to another, lavishing his favorites with gifts and money until he grew bored of them. Interestingly, many of those fell for him, not his money, but no matter what they did, he was unable to trust their affection for him. His fear of rejection drove him to seek sexual pleasure from women, but that fear also kept him from believing in others. He substituted ‘sex’ for ‘love’, his addiction to sex masked his need for love. Though he’ll forever tell the world that he is searching for love, but he won’t even give those who did love him a chance.

    Til next time.

    #296907

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Prairie light,

    Regarding sexual intimacy, if the most you want to do is kiss and hug, then that’s fine. You do not need to go further than that. Physical intimacy should be dictated by what YOU are comfortable with, not with what your partner wants you to do. If your partner wants to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, then it is your rights to not do anything. Not every relationship need sex to function correctly and it seems that you are one of those people who doesn’t regard sex as necessary. Again, completely fine and you’re not alone in that. There are many other people out in the world that doesn’t care for sexual activities who has great relationships.

    Now, if the only reason that you are contemplating leaving your partner for the reason of having no sexual attraction towards her, then you’ll have to first understand if you even want sex to begin with since it seems to be a sensitive subject in many of your relationships. Do you know the term ‘asexual’? It’s pertain to individuals who either dislike sex or doesn’t want sex or doesn’t care for sex. It’s a sexual orientation for people who decided for themselves that even though they can have physical sex, they simply don’t feel the normal sexual arousal (or any kind of sexual arousal) towards anyone, regardless if they love that person platonically or romantically. It’s a relatively new concept since there are not a lot of people who identifies as one, but you might actually fit under that category. Here’s a link to get started:

    http://www.whatisasexuality.com/intro/

    On another note, if you feel that you aren’t completely open to your current partner, it might either mean that your affections for her has turned more platonic than romantic or you feel a certain guilt for being in a relationship your family does not approve of. Guilt has a way of shaming you, especially in regards to the judgment and opinions of other people. So rather then a lack of affection, it’s more the fear of inadequacy, of doing something wrong therefore you hold back. But your case with depression also has the affect of making you question your self-worth which can lead to a guilt of making your partner ‘endured’ you, so to speak. You feel guilty that she must support you through your trials of depression when she might be with someone who won’t put her through that sort of thing. Again, guilt can lead to many things, shame of yourself, irritation with your relationship or your partner, the dread of not being enough, the fear of rejection.

    Yet, how much have you’ve opened to your partner about any of your fear? As much as she understand that you experienced depression, does she know any of your fear, shame and worry? Or have you held back from having any conversations with her about your anxious thoughts? Are you putting off conversations for the confidence masquerade of ‘she knows me so she’ll understand’ so you’ve stayed silent instead?

    You’ve talked of her being frigid, but how much of that is a projection of your fear that she might not accept you?

    #296699

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Puce,

    You don’t trust that you, as a person, is enough for anyone in your relationships, which lead you to not trusting others.

    You’ve been hurt by people before so it’s understandable that you are leery of forming deep bonds with any females. And the bullying had damaged your self-esteem during your formative years so that’s something to look at too. That’s why it was safer for you to befriend male friends while fantasizing intensely about your casual female friendships. It’s not that you didn’t want female friendships, it was that you didn’t want to relived your childhood nightmares. But right now you’ve cocooned yourself in fear and shame, with your thoughts and imagination fueling it.

    Your apprehension of all the tensions with many of the females you are acquainted with speak of your fear that they might not like you, hence rejecting you. BUT that fear is your personal interpretation of the situation. You don’t know what the person before you is feeling or thinking until you’ve asked them point blank their thoughts. Yet your assumptions on the silence seems to lean toward the negative.

    Though you might be correct in that they actually might not like you, that’s simply how the world works. People will have lukewarm feelings for you at the best of time, no matter how much you wished to cultivate a deeper relationship. And there will also be those who won’t like you for whatever reasons. You can extend many olive branches, but it is still their decision to commit to a deep friendship with you. And if they don’t wish for it, the best thing for you to do is to mourn that potential deep friendship then move on.

    It’s just, your fear of rejection makes you want to control the impression that other people have of you. Your fear makes you out to be a defective person therefore you fear that people will also see it. You fear that other people will see the defect in you and scorn you for that reason. After all, you were rejected by your peers in your childhood, whose to say that it won’t happen again? Therefore, in your need for control, you rejected your mother and your boyfriend and possibly keep a certain distance from your female friends. If you reject them first, then they can’t reject you.

    Right now, you know that you are looking at your world through the lens of ‘what if’, invoked by your desire for a relationship similar to the ones in your fantasies because you fear your reality. You have casual friendships as you imagine what could happen if it was a deep friendship instead. You offer olive branches to those who you don’t like that much while silently thinking that some people don’t like you. You try to appear likable even when you avoid people. You wish for friendship because you don’t want to be rejected because rejection is a reflection of your own flaws.

    So if you ask the people around you to show up, would they? If you tell the people around you that you think you are defective in some way, would they be able to accept you irregardless? But it doesn’t seem that you’ve asked anything of them while also not letting them ask anything of you. You’ve been making assumptions while avoiding speaking of anything less than harmless to these people you call ‘friends’. After all, you don’t say “I’m scare, worried, anxious”, you only say “I have migraines” as if they would understand the underlying message that you’re struggling with being a friend and asking them for friendship. You don’t say much.

    Your fear keeps you from speaking, it provoke you into making assumptions about others, it makes you keep people at arms’ length. Then there is your shame of being defective. Your reaction to your shame is observing people’s reaction to you and using those reaction as building blocks to support the basis of your shame. And you’ve trapped yourself in that spiral of shame.

    Now, is the UK a country that stigmatize mental health? Because your sense of shame of yourself is definitely not new so the best course of action would be to seek professional help in untangling it. Be warn, changing the perspective of your view on yourself and your world is difficult because you are essentially challenging your personal truth of your shame, but if you wish to be able to form relationships without pushing people away, then it’s one of the challenges you’ll need to face.

    Each person carries their shame with them in some way, yours simply show up as the fear of rejection and being ‘defective’. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s simply your form of shame. But it is something you’ll have to work with for the duration of your life because life has an ironic sense of humor in that you’ll always have to face your fear in different forms in the various stages of your life.

    You’re scare, that’s okay, but you have the choice in what to do about that.

    #296525

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lia,

    The exhaustion from realizing the truth about your family is understandable. As much as you didn’t like your family, it didn’t mean you understood the reason why. And when any truth is revealed, well, there are certain decisions you have to make precisely because of the truth. But right now, after spending time in the presence of your mother and your family, it’s no wonder you have little energy left for anything else. You’ve had to maneuvered around your mother and her actions, detaching yourself from the situation because it’s become too exhausting for you. You’re tired and I am very glad that you will be leaving them. Once you leave, take some time for yourself. You’ve been walking on eggshells, best to take a break.

    On the other hand, because you are too used to the abuse, not being abused might be too much of a novelty and that can be very frightening. Human are creatures of habits so it became habitual to expect abuse from someone, your mother, and to endured it. But now that you are leaving with the prospect of no longer being abused, that can be scary in that you don’t know what to anticipate in the future so you don’t know how to react. Do whatever you can to ignore that fear and leave. Even when leaving seem scarier than staying and enduring the abused, ignore your doubts and keep telling yourself that you need to leave. Focus on leaving and nothing else until you leave.

    Now, from your childhood, you’ve been trained by your mother to put the needs of other people before yours. While the abuse has instilled in you a fear of other’s judgment and motives so it’s not surprising to see that you don’t really trust other people. That fear has kept you from socializing because you didn’t know whom to trust, if there was anyone you could trust. As you really couldn’t trust your family, it’s won’t be easy to trust a complete stranger. Trusting someone is an act of vulnerability, something you couldn’t really do with your family. Hence, you’ve never been able to let yourself be vulnerable with other people. Not your fault.

    But if you seek for relationships that are true, then it’s something to work on. Of course, not every person you meet will care to understand you, or treat you genuinely, but let that not discourage you. Relationships are built on time and commitment, and you’ll meet many people in life. And as you slowly start to understand some basic things about those people, you might find someone who genuinely wants to form a friendship with you. But you’ll have to be careful about playing at ‘being friends’ just because you hope for their genuine feelings. You can easily be too nice and forgiving which can lead to others taking advantage of you.

    If you could, try looking for a family counselor that specializes in parental abuse or at least has worked with abused victim. There should be some websites that list the specialists around you and what they specialized in. Look for someone who has studied and worked with abused victims. Depending on where you are, you can always inquired with the local abuse shelter about recommending counselors to you. But note that working on any psychological issues will take time so be patient when looking for a counselor that can meet your needs since it does take time to find someone that you might feel comfortable with.

    #296509

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lily,

    Fearing the judgment of people can mean many things, but in your case, it seem to be highlighting your shame.

    There’s a certain negative aspect of having a parent or two that has the habit of blaming/criticize/reproach/reprimand/chide others for little to big things. It is actually nothing personal, or at least in the regards that your father hate you or anything. Rather, as you’ve noticed, because he cannot accept the fact of his own flaws, however small, he must find the flaws in others then berate them for having flaws. But because you’ve had to live with that and was one of his targets, it is difficult not to take on his shame and make it your shame.

    Your shame makes you fear the eyes of other because they might be able to see all your flaws and deem you as a ‘bad person’ or whatever fear that haunts you in the depth of your heart. Judgment is frightening in that they reinforced your greatest fear, your belief of your inadequacy as a person. And right now, you have surrounded yourself in a spiral of ‘anxiety’ rooted in shame.

    This incident with the missing knife (please move out as soon as possible, it doesn’t sound safe) made you question whether the people in the dorm were suspecting you of theft because of your general disposition as someone who didn’t care to socialized much. You even write that it was your fault for not socializing, or at least appearing like someone who is warm-hearted and trustworthy. But even those that smile can have cruel thoughts and the stoic ones might have the warmest heart, but you don’t know that until you have some understanding of their true character. But even that doesn’t guaranteed you’ll know a person.

    The incident itself, though, is not that important. What is important is the effect that came about because of it. For you, the effect is the shame of possibly being suspected as the thief. No one wants to be a bad person, and it is doubly so for you because being a ‘bad person’ is associated with being a person with flaws. And having people see your flaws is utterly terrifying.

    If you yourself is scared of your own flawed reflection, does it not become a nightmare that others should also see it?

    But you can’t think away your shame nor can you ignore it as it will simply come back in another form. You can question it but emotions are not rooted in thoughts as it is thoughts that are rooted in emotions. That ‘shame’ is an emotion that you unconsciously justified with reasonable doubts about your own character’s flaws. And because it’s reasonable, it’s does not seem erroneous to continue those justified ‘thoughts’. You don’t want to be incorrect, no matter how negative.

    So what do you do?

    Well, the first step would be acknowledging your feelings regarding your shame. Acknowledge your fears, acknowledge the fact that you probably don’t like your reflection all that much. And then try to be okay with the fact that you don’t like yourself all that much. While it is easy to show other kindness, it is all the more difficult to show oneself kindness, but the least you can do is accept that there are things you don’t like about yourself. And that’s okay, you do not have to like yourself all the time. It’s okay to accept the negative for what they are, rather than ignoring or trying to force them away.

    So don’t let what is negative fester, as what seemed to have happened for your father. Because he could not accept what is flawed, he could only find the flawed in other people. Even when it seemed absurd, his criticism was his personal shame. Yours is different in that you are too ready to accept your flaws yet you also seek to ‘think’ or ‘do’ away with it. But that is merely a band-aid on the open wound.

    Slowly acknowledge what you can. It is a long process to accepting imperfection in a seeking ‘perfect’ society. You’ll probably have days in which you question why you can’t just function without the heedless worries of judgment, days in which you are tired of yourself and your ego, days in which you torment yourself over the imperfection and flaws. That’s okay. Life is not without the pointless worries. What is negative and what is positive is merely two side of the same coin. What’s important is what you choose to do or not do.

    Good luck.

    #296317

    GL
    Participant

    Hello X,

    It’s fine to take your time. It’s also busy on my end so I don’t have much time to visit any threads right now. But it’s surprising you’ve found some of my posts since I only visit the threads when my schedule allow it; even then, it’s sporadic.

    I don’t mind a back and forth, it’s just that people usually post something then I post something then they might reply, but that’s the end of that. That, and my posts are usually very long, as you’ve seen for yourself, and most people don’t want to wade through much nor reflect on it. They either want a quick solution or someone to vent to, but that’s not my strong suit so I’ll leave that to the other commenter.

    And I am actually going back to school for psychology so it’s a yes and no.

    Hope your days fare pleasantly.

    #292733

    GL
    Participant

    Hello X,

    Pardon me, but life got busier than anticipated.

    Happy endings are nice, but it feels incomplete. Also, if the protagonist(s) was happy, then the villain(s) was probably unhappy. After all, they both wanted different things, but only one side would get their desire result while the other side would fail. And as much as the villains are unlikable, it is also unfair to them that they, as the villain, are likely to fail to achieved their goal simply for the fact that they are the ‘villain’. Reverse the point of view and the ‘hero’ is probably the villain from the view of the ‘villain’ since it was the ‘hero’ that became an obstacle to the ‘villain’s’ plans. But more than the endings, it was more interesting to read about the character’s motives that led to their actions and its consequences.

    Of course, the child goes with whatever s/he is “fed” – I learnt about all these “real” versions only much later in life.

    I will have to disagree with this. The child may not have been taught that they have the freedom to explore beyond what they can see, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t. Though it largely depend on the nature of the child and nature of their exploration.

    The same a few years later when I was looking at his picture. Somehow at that point the features that are now so pronounced (for me and I don’t like them) became also very apparent, he had started to lose hair, by that time he had already grown a belly (why do men do it once they hit 50 – the “guy who led me on” also put on weight), but I was lovingly thinking and recalling him the way he had been when we first met and for the first year of our romance, what pulled me to him “…But I still love you, notwithstanding.” Isn’t this what they call the conscious choice to love somebody?

    Don’t quite understand this point. People age, the cells dictate so (unless by some miracle scientists have found a way to reinvigorate the human body) there’s no turning back the cells’ death. So for you to focus on the fact that irregardless of how your partner may look in the present as compared to the past, are you focusing on the fact that you still wish to feel sexual attraction to him?

    What is interesting is that psychology-wise there is no “norm”. If you are “functioning”, you are “normal.”

    You can be functioning (surviving), but that doesn’t mean you can’t be/aren’t riddled with depression/melancholia.

    I am afraid I stop following you at this point – why is one partner always dissatisfied? Why can’t the two find a way that would satisfy both?

    You have things you wish to do, yes? Then can you give up all or at least a half of that for your partner to do what they want? If you can and will not resent your partner for putting you in that kind of situation, then go for it. But not many people can give up a life that has a certain meaning to them. For as much as both partners may compromise, it does not always lead to a life that is great, or even okay. They have compromised and made changes, but there is always the feeling that something is missing. And that missing is maybe where they want to live, the kind of career they want, the people they want to surround themselves with, what they wish to learn, etc. No two people will always wish for the same thing, and sometimes that ‘want’ is especially important to one person, but focusing on it (i. e. geographical location) may barred the other person from doing what they want: no career opportunity, geographical location, future (or no) children, etc. People can give it up (similar to an unfulfilled dream), but there’s a high possibility of regret leading to resentment if what they gave up was more important to them than they had allowed themselves to believed. When that happens, both partners have a choice to make. They can have a long distance relationship/partnership or separate. Keep in mind that not many people are suited to long distance relationship and even after all the changes, both isn’t really happy with their life. So they separate because they wish to find someone who they can share a life that is 70-80% similar to what they want, which is not what their current partner desires. So to repeat, you can love someone, but that doesn’t mean that you love a life with them. (And a reason why people should know if they desire children or not.) To put it in a simple equation, the start of love is chemistry and life is compatibility.

    Besides, when has life ever gone the way anyone wish it would?

    But generosity and willingness to put oneself in another’s shoes (even if it is as little as noticing whether I am cold or tired) goes a much longer way.

    Now, wanting your partner to be generous is fine, but determining it by a person’s generosity with money is one part too small of the whole. Just because a person is generous with money does not mean that they are generous with their heart or affection. A person can pay for you on a date, but that will not change the fact that they are a jerk; they are merely a jerk that paid during the first date. And many of those with money will donate a lot to charities to get out of tax duties; don’t be so sure that money generosity is a good thing. But in that end, the generosity is still dedicated to you in that the other person should do his best to woo you, in which most of them are doing since they are asking for your opinion for the first date. Yet you’ve expressed that you wished that they would simply make a decision, ask for your free time slot and then fill you in the plans. Isn’t that a bit controversial? You believe that the other person asking you where you’d like the date to be is them not doing the leg work, but you still wish for them to take you into consideration?

    You wish the other person to pay attention to your needs, yet how much attention are you paying to their needs?

    Also, I do like to underscore that I am independent and that the mere fact that you asked me out (or want to pay for me) doesn’t mean that I will sleep with you.

    There is a subvert entitlement to paying on the date. When a person pays, usually the male, they are unconsciously putting the other party in debt to them so they feel that they are owed something from the other party. And that something is usually something sexual. So splitting the bill is usually the safer bet for many first dates since no one owes anyone anything.

    By the way, is there is need to state your independence every few posts? Many of the posts have one or two sentences about how you’re financially able and able to do your own things without worrying about other people, but what is the necessity to include those points? Are you worry about others judging you for being desperate or ‘less than’?

    I have been brought up on the premise of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you do upon others”

    It is fortunate that your parents had the sound of mind to teach you such things, but not everyone had the fortune of having balance parents, or a family, for that matter.

    Anita likes to stress that compromising (meaning conceding) doesn’t work. What works is win-win. What would you say?

    A relationship shouldn’t be about winning or losing. If you continuously keep scores and grudges against your partner, then you’re only trying to fix them or appear superior to them. Making the relationship a competition will only wear out all the involved parties. But no human likes being wrong, much less being told that they are wrong. So there is compromise, in that the parties give up a little of something to reach the middle ground. Compromise is about balance, not tipping the scale toward one side.

    Now this is a only a thought, but you might be too comfortable in your thinking/feeling. You have a certain view on things and you tend to hold onto that point. It’s fine to be steadfast when it comes to having a different perspective from others, but when a person tend to ignore ‘different’ and focus on similar, then the viewpoint become too narrow that there’s only one perspective that might be correct (or incorrect) which hem in possibilities. One example for you is your insistent on categorizing your ex as an narcissist. Though you understand that you have no relative knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you still compared your ex to to a checklist (from a relationship help website) of some traits that NPD can showcase therefore labeling him as a narcissist.

    Looking at what you’ve written, the checklist seems to go: ego-centric fuel by affection and admiration, serial cheater (inability to stay too long in any relationship), manipulating your hope and intentions, obviously has issues with intimacy and the ability to speak somewhat eloquently yet has done little to back up his words (dishonesty and poor communications, MIA for few months). Did he enabled you as a person, but also tried to control you in turn, has he ever shown you his absolute vulnerable side (no?), does he resent his exes, former friends, colleagues or family for any of his ‘misfortune/depression’, did he like being depended on (took responsibility for you in some way), did he show sign of needing approval from those around him (work and friends), was he able to take criticism from you (no?), did he have a quick temper or issues concerning anger?

    If you place a check next to many of the questions above, then your ex’s problem probably doesn’t lie in NPD but codependency addiction. Codependency is described as the ‘addiction to the potential of things’ or ‘relationship addiction’. If he is selfish and self-centered in some ways, that’s not surprising because those who tend to be codependent has detached themselves from their own emotions as a defense mechanism from a difficult past. The same thing can be written of NPD, but what differs is that the two are looking for different things. Your ex was seeking for love, but was unable to trust and commit himself to a relationship. Also, he was addicted to the chase of any new potential relationships so it is any wonders he’d have side mistresses?

    He is/was chasing after passion, pretending it to be love. It was easy for you to love that him whom spouted words without actions. Maybe you were hoping that he would eventually commit himself, but I wonder if you didn’t also unconsciously knew that after 4-6 years of ‘spoken love’, he was only a mask of no-risk passion. He was not going to commit yet you were able to delude yourself otherwise. Were you hoping to save him or be ‘the one’ for him? It seems you also knew of his past sordid affairs outside of his marriage? Then you found someone similar to your ex, labeling him as ‘the one who led you on’.

    And the cycle of spark, infatuation, waiting, then fading. You are used to that yet have made little attempt at changing it. Rather, you seek answers to why you should wait, why you want this or that, why your biology compel you to mate or seek affection or seek safety. Then you use that as a generalization for most women because there is safety in numbers.For someone who prefers to have a measure of control over their life, I wonder if the cycle is something safe for you? The cycle of waiting and moving on is predictable, their reaction is predictable and the outcome is predictable. It is a boring cycle to be sure, but it’s predictability is safe. It’s safe in that you can intuit their reaction and actions thus react according to your script of waiting until a year or more has passed before moving on to the next cycle. You first relationship was with someone who spoke of love yet could not commit. Then it happened again and again until now. In between, you acted the script of infatuation then disappointment. That script has not changed, or if it did, very little of the content has. You first chose a man that was unhappy with his relationship and that has not changed even now. Though you may find those that are seemingly ‘healthy’, you also gave up relatively quick, or was it that you weren’t attracted to them?

    There’s also the family portrait comparison. Are you looking for a trophy husband? Because you seem to want someone who would look good with you even if you don’t care about the particulars of their appearance. But does it matter all that much since it can’t predict whether that person will decide to commit to a relationship? Or it is how you determine whether you can kiss someone? What importance that does family portrait hold for you? You also wish for someone who seems smarter than you? Is it that you wish for someone to be responsible for many of the things in your relationship as a whole? Or at least to be in charge of plans and what not? Or are you so used to dating those who took charge before that it is safer to date someone who is similar in that aspect?

    You also have a lot of expectations for any potential partner, writing off those who doesn’t catch your eyes after the first date (though if there’s a red flag, get away as quick as possible) yet the moment that someone does show interest, you lose most of your rationale and wait. (Your expectations is decided by what you can see yet chemistry is what decides for you your infatuation.) You wait, hoping that they’ll give signals or signs that they reciprocate and that they might be interested enough to test out a few dates, if any at all. You wait, even when they are giving you mix signals, hot and cold. You wait, daydreaming of what could be and the potential future. You wait until the feelings fade away, even if it takes months. You wait, not taking much actions. You wait, because the cycle is safe, it’s predictable and you don’t have to change much of its content.

    But what does waiting serve in the long term?

    Do you also have the tendency to take on/pick up/draw in other people’s emotions unconsciously?

    The philosopher David Hume had advocated the view that ‘should you doubt someone’s point/argument/statement/stance, then you should also doubt yourself in turn’. So I will reiterate, take my conjectures with a grain of salt. I do not understand you personally as an acquaintance or friend so all my conjectures are based on the data you’ve presented so far. It’s questionable how complete the puzzle is and even if you feel it is complete, it is only complete in your point of view. There is no other point of view that can be take into consideration so there are only puzzle pieces for yourself and not others.

    I hope you are enjoying fair weather and time with family on your vacation.

    #290193

    GL
    Participant

    Hi X,

    There is certainly a romantic appeal to a person who was orphaned at a young age working hard and finding happiness later in life. But that’s not the only literature around. Jane Austen would caution against using passion as the basis for a relationship as well as Shakespeare in his satirical work Romeo and Juliet (two teens committing suicide after a few days of meeting? Utter foolishness). Dostoyevsky used passionate morals to commit ‘evil’. Emily Bronte had a different view of orphan in Wuthering Heights. The concept of Jean ValJean being forgiven for his criminal past, on his deathbed, by Cosette is eyebrow raising, the Hunchback had a grimmer ending. In the Italian version of Cinderella, Zezolla was fending off the advances of the King until he had cornered, forcing her to marry him. In the Grimm version, Aschenputtel planted a tree on her mother’s grave. Come time of the ball, she had asked the tree to grant her the dresses and accessories to attend. Her stepsisters had cut off part of their feet to fit into the shoe, the prince carried them off until the birds told him to check the bloody shoe. At the wedding, the bridesmaid stepsisters had their eyes pecked out by the birds. Didn’t finish Harry Potter, was more enamored with the Chronicles of Narnia.

    Fairytale do have a happily ever after, yet that also beg one question. What happens after happily ever after? The reader can only see a certain timeframe of the story to inferred that the characters was happy at a certain point in time, but it might not end that same way at their death. There is also no glimpse of the mundane life after the end. There might be an epilogue, but that doesn’t give much fact of the last ending for the main protagonist(s). Were they truly happy after the ending or is it something the reader must imagined to feel happy after finishing the journey of the characters? The narrator writes “The End” at the ending and it is, as the story has ended. Yet if the characters were living, the end merely implies the ending to one part of their life, the rest is left to the imagination. After all, someone must live to write that tale.

    Concerning any psychological disorders, the APA always has a difficult job of choosing what disorders should or should not be added to the DSM IV, the psychological guidelines. No matter the constant research, there is always outliers to human behavior so there might be theories, but not laws. Even now, psychologists and psychiatrists are still debating the spectrum of narcissism. Does someone embody Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or are they merely on the spectrum, e. g. egoistic and weary of looking/being vulnerable? Difficult to diagnosed.

    GL, I am really not sure that love, or rather, its beginning is a conscious act. If it was, there would be many more happy marriages based on pure compatibility derived from tests and checklists. Matt and I discussed it in depth as well as Michelle and I.

    Apologies, should have elaborated on that.

    No one person can write that they love anyone upon first meeting, not even mothers/fathers to their new born. Like, possibly, but not love. It is possible to build upon that ‘like’ to achieve love, which many couples do. But after a few years of marriage, when the chemical wears off, people start to look at things objectively. And then they start to examined whether they are happy with their partner and more often than not, they find themselves dissatisfied. Given the context, they might start to change the things around them and their partner will probably support the change. But what if after all the changes, the partner start to feel dissatisfied in turn? So they change things again and again (e. g. career, geographic location), but not matter what, one partner is always dissatisfied. But that dissatisfaction lies not in their partner, but in their life. Yet no matter the change they make, they couldn’t achieve a basic level of comfort for both and the only way to do so would be a long distance relationship. But not a lot people can do long distance and make their relationship work, they’re just not cut out for that. So they separate because compromising didn’t work. The separation was not done because they didn’t love each other, but it was because they love each other that they separated. Each person respected the other’s person need for a life that makes them happy, even if that life wasn’t one together.

    Mr. Katz puts it perfectly. There’s little chance of getting 10 and 10 in both chemistry and compatibility. You might love someone, but that doesn’t mean they won’t annoy you at any time of the day. But no matter how piss off you are with them, you still choose them because there’s a level of comfortability you feel with them. And they decided that they feel comfortable with you too. Thing is, it’s not that you need them, but that you want them. So once you’ve made the decision to commit after deciding if you want to be with them, how do you choose to love that person?

    Do you believe that I should have continued to see those men if I had felt at least neutral towards them and not the aversion / repulsion that I did? They say that if you don’t feel chemistry, it means that the person is biologically, on the physical and animal level not good for you gene-wise, not good for procreation, like a distant cousin may be.

    The concept of seeking a partner that can provide for you depends entirely on you. If you’re looking to start a family in the future and would be the one to stay at home, then it would be wise to look for someone who can bring in the money, though it’s not always necessary. If you like being pampered by your partner with gifts and treats, then look for someone who knows his finance and works in that boundary. Marrying for convenience and economic status was a societal rule in the eras before due to high mortality rate and little working opportunities for women. So the women had to be careful in who they married since they will mostly be depending on that men to provide for them and their children. There are exceptions, but still, it was uncommon. Now that women can work, there is few need to find a partner that can provide for you. Even single moms can find methods to work with the system. So if you want someone who can pamper you, then put that on your list of criteria for partners.

    In terms of chemistry, physical chemistry is important if you are anything, but asexual. Though aesthetics can also be important too. Wanting and being able to kiss someone makes it easier to want to date, and chemistry can be developed if you are open to that. But chemistry is important to you so seriously judge if you are comfortable with that person. You have good intuition, but what kind of information is your intuition drawing from? Is it drawing from your romantic idealism, your bias or your criteria? But judging someone as a series of data can skew your perspective since it doesn’t allow you to see that person as human, but a checklist of sort. Though if you don’t like something about that person, then you don’t like it so best to move on.

    Take these advices with a grain of salt. Marrying for love is a new concept so it can be inferred that the relationship industry is new too. So while scientists are still trying to determined what is ‘chemistry’ between two people, relationship coaches are mostly going off of their knowledge of what makes a relationship. But that knowledge might not work for everyone. What works for one might not work for another so you’ll have to understand the context of your relationship and the people involved. Even then, if one person is half-hearted about it, then it might not work since they probably won’t choose to wholeheartedly commit to the relationship. And people are rarely taught how to be responsible for their actions in a relationship. People are rarely taught how to be vulnerable with others.

    But you shouldn’t compromise in terms of commitment. It’s either they will choose to be with you or they don’t. Take the maybes as ‘no, they won’t commit’ because that maybe is a method of ensuring that they can leave as soon as they feel trapped or vulnerable or unsure. Take their actions are either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because actions does speak louder than words given that speaking is easy, but doing is difficult. Of course, you can also choose to wait, but you should also understand that you can also walk away. What you choose to compromise on is entirely up to you, but you also don’t have to compromise on everything. You have your needs, and your potential partner have theirs. Between what you can compromise on and what you can’t, you work on the middle ground of that ‘can’ with them.

    You are complete/whole as is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be lonely. Human are social creatures, science has proven that. To wish for the warmth of another is a human thing, so it’s fine to let yourself be human.

    #290009

    GL
    Participant

    You’re panicking, RJG.

    You understand that it’s unhealthy to place heavy expectations on other people hoping for them to validate the fact that you are not unlovable, but that doesn’t mean that you accepted that for yourself. Right now, you’ve placed heavy expectations on this guy that you’ve been to bed with due to the single fact that you went to bed with him. He slept with you so that must mean that he wants to date, right? Nope. All he’s been telling you is that he only wanted physical pleasure. Even now, he’s moved on with his life. But you are using him to torment yourself.

    You stalk his Facebook. You think about his non-replies. You think about how he might be a ‘good person’ who didn’t want you. You are making this a personal agenda in that he’s not thinking about you. So that wounded your ego and your pride and now you feel despondent because he is making it clear that he only wanted your body. That hurts. But you’re the one choosing not let go. You are choosing to highlight the fact that he is not thinking of you into a bad thing.

    You are over-thinking this, which led to you panicking over the fact that he does not care.

    Find a way to calm down. Take deep breaths, take a walk or take your car somewhere. Bake a cake, watch a movie, hike a trail, play loud music and dance to it wildly, stargaze, eat something nice, take a bath, paint, go to a batting cage, do something. But don’t do anything related to that person, not until you have calm down over this situation.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by  GL.
    #289877

    GL
    Participant

    Dear RJG,

    You understand that you have an anxious attachment style so relationships are important to you. Having someone as a romantic partner is important to you. But that also makes you desperate for affection that you say ‘yes’ to almost any guy that shows a glimpse of interest in your direction.

    From the example of the current guy, as much as you’ve given your stance on relationships while asking him what he wants, you still allow a wide berth of ‘maybes’ for him. Maybe if you kept contacting him, maybe if you kept seeing him, maybe if you kept talking to him, he might eventually developed true interest in you. And that interest might turn into a loud ‘yes’ to becoming a romantic couple. Even when all you’ve done together was food and sex. Even when all he has shone interest in was bedding you. Though you were vocal about what you wanted, you also let your actions overrode those expectations into ‘maybes’. And he saw that and kept pushing because he understood that you wanted his affection and affirmation and approval. You wanted a relationship, only you didn’t firmly push back when he gave signals that he only wanted the physical.

    Now, for every immature person that have ghosted you, those numbers had picked at your insecurity. And insecurity has a funny way of making you feel inferior and a lesser-than-person. Insecurity also has a way of making you believe that your worth is decided by what someone tells you are worth. So when those people ghosted you without even a text telling you it wasn’t meant to be, it’s left you befuddled and feeling that maybe you weren’t valuable enough for that person to like you. Then you start to question your worth which lead you to start liking yourself a little less than you did before. That person did ghost you so that must mean that you did something wrong, right? And that’s where the need for closure comes in. You want to know what you did wrong, you want to know what’s wrong with you?

    Yet, even knowing the answer won’t do much other than say that the relationship just won’t happen.

    Those people who ghosted you made a decision that they didn’t see the relationship going anywhere, but not wanting to take responsibility to end things, they went radio silent. Their decisions had nothing to do with you. The chemistry just wasn’t there and you really can’t fake chemistry so they left. But you took that personally to mean that there was something wrong with you so you want to know ‘why’. If you knew, maybe you could fix it. But that doesn’t get you far.

    Rather, don’t ask yourself what you did wrong, ask what didn’t the two of you have together? Ask if that person is someone you can really shout ‘yes’ to. Is that person even happy talking to you? Ask if that person even likes you. Do you even like him? Ask if that person is someone who does respect your boundaries, your nos and your want/needs. Ask if that person has chemistry and compatibility with you. Be more picky about who you choose to be intimate with.

    Don’t fear that there is no one out there for you, fear that you can’t choose from the ones that are attractive and is whole-heartedly into you.

    #289697

    GL
    Participant

    Dear SallyDaisy,

    As of right now, you are living in a bubble. A bubble that you have created out of the need to rationalized what is happening in your life. And in that bubble, you keep telling yourself the stories ‘I am worthless, I have no value, I am a failure’. Your confirmation bias is also looking for other stories, i e your abusive ex, to support and uphold your critical view of yourself.

    Right now, you believe those stories. You believe yourself to be worthless because your environment, the people around you, have never encouraged you to have faith in yourself. Your environment was/is hostile so what you see around is a lot of hostile elements with little safety spaces. Your defense mechanism is on alert mode, ready to leap out at the moment you perceive danger, no matter how imaginary. Because anyone can be an enemy, it is simply easier to shut out everyone, than hope for a single ally. And that’s why you are still in contact with your mother. As much as she is not your ally, at least you know her brand of ammunition. You’ve stood before her line of fire, it is something you can predict and that’s easier to response to. What’s predictable is less scary than what is not predictable. Hence, your ex was an abuser, similar to your mother. You’ve lived in that hostile environment for so long that it’s easier to surround yourself in a similar environment than change to something you don’t know.

    What’s worse is that humans tend to be their own cruelest enemy because your mind is the best tool for self-torment. Especially when you were only taught by your mother that you have no worth as a person. It seems you were your mother’s verbal punching bag. She also didn’t approve much of what you did, did she? Especially if it makes you happy because you weren’t allow to be happy? At least in her eyes. And because you couldn’t be happy unless your mother was happy, you’ve learned to put yourself at second best. You’ve learned that your value lies in pleasing other people. Hence, once of the reason why you constantly seek love and affection and approval and validation from other people. You kept chasing after love the only way you knew how.

    That void is what is left after the chase. It is a bit of hopelessness along with self-derision. It’s an emptiness that has hollowed out your heart. And because there is nothing in that emptiness, you don’t have anything to fall back onto when your mind constantly questions your value, your worth, your significance. Because it’s empty, you can only filled it with other people’s opinion, taking it as the truth.

    You did not live an empty existence, you simply don’t know how to live a full existence for yourself.

    #289555

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lia,

    You are not obligated to love your mother. She might have familial ties to you, but love is a choice and you can make the choice to not love her. The child you was dependent on her, thus seeking for her love. Parents are the first contact to the world and with evolutionary genetic wiring humans to be social animal, you were simply following your instinct of seeking out warmth and affection from your parental figures.

    You have done nothing wrong. You had only seek to please your mother in the way you knew how, but she is the one who chose to reject your efforts. Your mother is the one who chose to reject you simply because she could. It was not your fault. None of it is your fault.

    But if there is one thing many abusers have in common, it is that they are skilled manipulator. Like a predator to their prey, they have observed your strengths and weaknesses to know which buttons to push. And when the abuser is your mother whom you have spent many years with, it is little wonder if she doesn’t understand how to destroy your self-esteem while she has never encouraged you to have faith in yourself.

    Your mother is skilled at painting/coloring your reality with her colors, your mother is skilled at making the world center around her. At a young age, that taught you to ignore your will, your want, your desires, your needs in favor of your mother’s needs. That taught you that you had no value as a person; that you don’t matter, only your mother matter. Your mother had also instilled the fear of her into you because it’s simply easier to break someone when they fear you. Fear makes it easier to control you.

    Now that you are breathing the same space as your living nightmare, your anxiety is making itself known because you still fear your mother. Your body has already ingrained that fear into your heart so now your defense mechanism is going haywire in the presence of your childhood bogeyman. You do not feel safe with your parents thus your anxiety is screaming at you ‘no, No, NO!’. You are not safe. You need to get out.

    Moving on from your nightmarish childhood does not have to happen in the presence of your family. You can heal while still living far, far away from your would-be oppressor. Being strong means being okay with not meeting or seeing those who had abused you. It’s not that you are weak not meeting them, but rather, you respect yourself so you look after your well-being. And if being okay means not meeting your family, then that is what you should encourage yourself to do.

    You need a safe space to heal, not a space with your oppressor. Especially when staying with your family means constant vigilance against your mother to see if she is going to do something to you again. You don’t need that. Constantly ‘fighting’ does not make you strong, rather it just tires out your spirit. Find the courage to leave, do it for yourself. Do it because leaving is showing the strength to say no to what hurts you.

    Good luck.

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