Menu

Need Help Understanding Why

HomeForumsRelationshipsNeed Help Understanding Why

New Reply

This topic contains 83 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  X 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 76 through 84 (of 84 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #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.

    #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?

    #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.

    #300711

    X
    Participant

    Hello X,

    Hi, GL

    Glad to hear that you had a good vacation.

    Thank you. I hope you are doing well, too.

    Your example with Rapunzel’s witch reminds me of what philosophers say: that things or the world per se are neither good or bad. It is our attitude that makes them so. Is that what you were trying to say?

    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.)

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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.

    In my case, I gulped down mythologies as long as they were more or less organized (stumbled at Hindu and Chinese – could never draw their family trees) and fairy tales simultaneously. Still, even though that library had brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, I didn’t particularly enjoy those. They were too grim and hardly ever had happy endings. I liked Disney-like fairy tales. I read English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, etc. and even Kazakh and Latvian fairy folk tales, but I don’t know whether the texts printed in those books had been somehow adapted for children’s consumption even though there were no authors and covers merely said “folk (fairy) tales.”

    Bordering with psychology, Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s Women Who Run with the Wolves was a riveting read. I think it is then when I got to know some adult versions of familiar fairy tales. But I was already 20 or 21 years old. Yet, a few of the tales in the books were exactly as I remembered them.

    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.

    True. But then, to extrapolate that further, that means that we can’t tell how others will act, even based on how they have acted in the past.

    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.

    And I am not even talking about how fragile and unstable our own memories and impressions are: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160920-four-ways-that-other-people-can-warp-your-memory

    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?

    Well, I am afraid that the answer lies in the way I am wired due either to my grandmother’s depression gene kicking in or due to having read too much and analysed too much. I hardly have any ambition now (last time I remembered myself really competing for good marks with my first childhood friend was in middle school) and prefer leading a quiet life pursuing my interests. I have read about one too many people rich and powerful at one time of their lives and ending in the gutter or on the scaffold not to want to repeat their fate or not to believe in how fickle fame, money and power are.

    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?…

    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.

    But for me, you can love someone you don’t want to be with for whatever reasons you may have.

    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.

    Though I ascribe to the five remembrances of Buddhism of how life is ephemeral so holding on isn’t something I do.

    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. Maybe I am still too young 😉 As said, one of my hypotheses is that my ex is similar to me in this respect. That is that he gets aroused at the sight of so few women that every time it happens, he considers it a sign from above. Maybe.

    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.

    I glance inside myself. I get attracted based on chemistry (I kept writing “appearance” or “family portrait”, but it is very intertwined with chemistry, that is, he may catch my eye because of his appearance, but if I don’t feel chemistry after further interaction, he stops being appealing to me, so “chemistry” is more appropriate). Later on, I somehow manage to marry the vibes I receive from the person with whatever traits I find that he possesses.

    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.

    But one first date does not give you much information on any person.

    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.”

    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.

    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.

    That is what I do. I don’t do online dating, all the men whom I have met, I met through work or hobbies. I also hear that one meets through one’s friends and relatives. I have had one such experience (though my aunt’s friend). And I don’t have a wide circle of friends, so maybe that is why I haven’t met anybody yet – just haven’t cycled through a decent number of men. I do prefer quality over quantity.

    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.

    Well, that series and books were written and first published in the early 2000s, the last one I read came out in 2010. He claims to have had 15 years of experience by then. I do know that he still keeps his practice because I emailed him tentatively suggesting a Skype meeting when my ex announced our breakup. He responded right away. So that must be at least thirty years of practice by now.

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

    I intend to reread those books because it has been five or six years since I read them last, so I cannot give a lot specific examples. Say, I clearly remembered that piece about high-risk occupations, but searched through ten of his books (and the books are thick, 250-300 pages, font 12) and through two more of yet another practising and popular therapist and couldn’t find it. 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?

    I agree that we don’t know so many things about the brain.

    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

    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 have read a few others, too, including Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. This one seemed too mass-market and too generalizing to me.

    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). I had interests outside of the object of my affections AND even though I did want to crawl after my #1 begging to take me back, there was no way I would do it in reality. And isn’t it what we do, not what we think that matters?

    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.

    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)? When we did it, I turned out to be builder-director and my ex was builder-explorer. Which makes total sense now – he goes from one woman to another “exploring,” and while he is interested, he does “build.”

    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.

    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. He said that nothing had changed for him, he would keep it, only didn’t know when. And so he stopped giving me deadlines all together, because I “was taking it so hard.”

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

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

    As mentioned earlier, I couldn’t tell that those were empty promises (I still don’t think they were) especially after I listed side by side all that he did and all that he didn’t. He certainly did and kept doing a lot for me, in some areas much more than some of my girlfriends’ husbands or boyfriends or even dates (my high school and university friend (with whom I met now when visiting my home country), when dating through an agency even flew to another country for a week to see her beau, and he left her at home for the entire day because he wanted to meet his bunch of friends in a bar for a football match!).

    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.

    Also, moving on after the original deadline of “a couple of years” turned out to be impossible because I was already hooked emotionally. And I am too faithful and steadfast by nature even when emotions are not involved. Like a bull ploughing through no matter what.

    Anyone with trust issues will have issues with intimacy.

    Oops, sorry, I meant here the ability to build and sustain a close relationship, which is a fact now, given how many things he, as it turned out, would keep to himself (and I doubt he tells them even to his current wife now).

    As for our sex life, I cannot imagine a more caring, passionate, tender and varied transition from girlhood to womanhood. I gave a more detailed account of it when replying to Michelle.

    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 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.

    I remember him using the stab in the back expression several times. It appears to me that he was very afraid of that stab in the back. And maybe he dumped me because he convinced himself that that would be a preemptive strike so to speak as I surely would dump him myself sooner or later?

    He certainly didn’t fit the typical case of midlife crisis. He was not a man who had married at the age of 20-something, had a couple of children with his wife who wife of whom he got too used to or who stopped being beautiful for him whereas he still looked and felt good and so he tried to catch up on his vanishing youth by getting himself a young mistress hardly older than his now grown-up kids (who might have left the family nest already). There is about a ten-year difference between the age of his son from his second marriage and mine.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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?

    Again, I don’t think he was or would be telling about his problems to any of his women. And frankly, I don’t think I know many men who would. I think men, generally speaking, believe that asking for help makes them less manly.

    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?

    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).

    Another question, why are you still friend with him?

    Very easy, too. One, I am not friends with him, I am assigned to do some joint projects with him. I didn’t want to say no to these assignments as we had been working together for a long time, and people were used to us working together. No one knew about our romance, so it would have seemed all the more strange if we hadn’t continued together.

    Two. Immediately following the breakup, I thought that it could be an aberration on his part that he might regret. So I wanted to be close by just in case he did change his mind for good.

    Three. Our joint projects are beneficial for me as a professional, and I am certainly used to keeping my personal life and work separate. But I’d be surprised if I see him again (more on it below).

    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.

    I disagree. First, he knew all too well by then that after my two futile attempts in Year 3, I was throwing in the towel and was not going anywhere – I had tried and failed miserably already, several times. And with each day passing, I was getting more and more invested time-wise.

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

    As for the fear of rejection translating into rejecting himself, seems about right, especially in the portion of how he treated me with that borrowed money, gifts to others for me to see and his passive-aggressive attitude towards everything I said that was not job-related (he doesn’t doubt my professionalism in my domain, but in all other spheres of life, all of a sudden, he started to contradict me wherever he could). It is as if I started to annoy him.

    But, from what I understand, he did overestimate how much security he had after that career milestone of his. People didn’t like his divorce, didn’t like how he behaved towards his now ex-wife, how he was wooing his current wife. It appears that he is not as bright as he wanted to think he was, and what could be forgiven a brighter person under similar circumstances could not be forgiven when he was involved.

    I suspect that this is where his career advancement stops.

    And, since he knows that he owes it in part to his current wife, he will start to resent her. She, as self-conscious as all the women he chooses (he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him, and he keeps choosing the same type of women), will inevitably start to think that it is because of her and his divorce to marry her.

    It doesn’t bode well for the relationship long-term.

    At the same time, she conveys the impression of somebody who likes to be wooed, dined and wined. I wouldn’t be surprised that if it turns out that she can’t get more respect and admiration through him (as his wife) and if he can’t go on supporting her at the level she is now used to, she wouldn’t hesitate breaking up with him. And just looking at her, I can tell that in case of a divorce, he will be left with just as much as allowed by law, not a penny more. Funnily enough, my mother is of the same opinion.

    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.

    I am afraid that this one doesn’t fly. You see, no one knew that we were together. I had no friends in the area, and I am a very private person, I wouldn’t talk a lot about who did what for whom and even less so given that he was married, for fear of some accidental detail that might betray his true marriage status.

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

    But I do agree that he did seem to be painting the good person image, only I believe that he was painting that image primarily for himself. He wanted to look good in his own eyes as long as he could.

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

    He would often talk about some time ago when he “didn’t have proper work nor wife or girlfriend.” I often felt as if for him to feel manly and proper, he had to have a girlfriend or, rather, a wife. Hence his speedy marriages. He also liked to say that the average man had seven women in his life. I was the seventh. Well, sorry for him and his woman #8, I have recently seen an article on the matter that claimed that the average man actually had ten. Given that he is only about sixty now, he can easily fit two more women in his lifetime.

    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.

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

    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.”

    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?

    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? He had been putting his divorce off and off looking for the best possible moment (and then got used to still having his wife taking care of the household and me as his love interest), and now with that fresh feeling of love in his veins, it suddenly did seem like the best moment.

    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.

    Why are you still keeping tab on their relationship?

    I have been right about people so many times (more on this below and of course, there were exceptions) that I am really interested in whether I have finally “found him out” – namely that his love / infatuation never transforms into attachment.

    One of his colleagues chatted about his marriage in the following way, “… and we all told him, “Why do you marry? You keep divorcing afterwards!”

    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.

    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.

    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?

    Moreover, he is still very good friends with the woman preceding his now ex-wife (who was his ex-wife’s friend). And he is on excellent terms with her husband. It might have been ménage à trois, for all I know 😉

    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.

    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. But I like balance and if I feel that I am initiating contact all too often (three or four times in a row is my benchmark), I take a step back and wait whether the other party will make a step forward. Or not. The guy “who led me” never did, nor did the bald guy from the seamanship programme who initiated not just one, but a couple of steps originally.

    Though I wonder what kind of image are you actually presenting to people.

    I have been wondering that myself. And you know – I don’t know! I remember a friend at the university tell me that I always held my chin high and seemed very dignified, in possession of myself. 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. A professor told me once that I always had that interested look on my face, which he found very polite and appropriate. One of my ex’s colleagues as recently as two months ago told me that he would never try to make a pass at me. He clearly divided women into the ones a man marries and the ones a man has for pleasure. I, it seemed, was in the former category, at least for him.

    Certainly, biases do exist, but there’s also the impression that you are leaving on people too.

    How very interesting! May I ask what made you think so?

    I think I started leaving on people only after my ex left me. As you could see in the above, if I looked deep enough, I certainly could find a few similarities between my ex and me (only I don’t know whether it was the case of finding what one was looking for even though I tried to be as objective as I possibly could).

    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.

    Accordingly, I realised that there were at least two people in my life who sort of clung to me just because, without being really invested in the relationship. And I started to move away from them for real. Still haven’t moved completely because one is an elderly lady, and Mum says that that might be too of a shock for her, so I keep saying merry Christmas to her. The other one is my best friend from school (with whom I competed for good marks) who hasn’t bothered to have a real talk and to find out what moves me now, some twenty years after our ways parted, but instead likes to keep me around by never failing to wish a happy birthday and merry Christmas and to say “I miss you,” but when I was in my home country, all meet-ups were on her terms.

    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 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.

    So your ex is your first serious relationship then?

    Yes. I think I wrote somewhere that he was my first (and so far the only) sexual partner.

    What exactly is reliable?

    Consistency in his actions and me getting vibes of consistency and trustworthiness from him.

    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?

    Ideally, it would be somebody about whom I could say that I could sleep with him (meaning that my body accepts him, i.e. that there is chemistry on my part besides his looking good according to what  I deem as “looking good”) when we first meet and him singling me out, too, by coming up for a chat and inviting me somewhere (so that I know that we are not just friends).

    Sort of like it is going now with my new mild crush. He has been locking eyes with me every single time our paths have crossed since February (six or seven times total), smiling and asking me how I was, listening to my answer and answering himself – all that not in a matter-of-fact, passing way like it is normally done when somebody is busy. And he is sure a busy guy. At this stage, especially when I see how his eyes flare up when he sees me and how it seems that we could stare in each other’s eyes for eternity, it would be ideal if he asked for my phone number or emailed me. And I am sure that we would catch on like a house on fire from there.

    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.

    Yes, I am aware of the dangers of being biased in favour of somebody.

    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.

    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 want to be saved from something, but I can’t determine what that is.

    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.

    Second, that my husband can provide for himself, including myself. That means that he is a) intelligent enough for us to have a meaningful connection (like in “Marry somebody you love to talk to. As you get older, your conversation skills will become more and more important”) and b) that he can support me if or when I am not able to take care of myself. (That he can save me from life, in other words, if necessary, say, if my business venture fails.) 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.

    A bonus here, after my ex – that I was able to find somebody more successful and, preferably, younger than he was. Just in spite.

    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.

    (Funny thing here – I always thought that I was attracted to men aged 35 and older. When I was 15, it meant at least a 20-year difference. But now that I am in my mid-thirties, I keep finding appealing men who are now past 45 – that is with whom I still have a 20-year difference. Not always, but there is a trend. I am slightly surprised.)

    And one more thing that is probably more important that them saving me from life. It is that I want him to be of some importance so that I don’t worry that he is with me because of my own money. I am not immensely well-to-do, but I am comfortable, and I would hate to have a husband who would rely on me as the breadwinner of the family.

    I became very aware of this “danger” after I confided in one of my professors about #1. My professor didn’t like the fact that my #1 switched from policy studies, in which he had majored, to the lucrative profession of a lawyer around the age of 40. The same professor tried to instil in us ambition, advising us to always go “up, up and up.” Maybe that is why I myself consciously pay attention to those men who are in a higher position, who stand out. And only then do I select those whom I like based on appearance, then if I feel chemistry and so on. It is the pool of men I look at, but I certainly have a very careful approach and listen to myself if somebody approaches me, no matter his station.

    Same spring, over ten years ago, when my #1 broke up with me, I happened to read “The Portrait of a Lady.” I particularly liked Mrs Touchett (Isabel struck as kind of bland, with no character whatsoever). I even made a list of Mrs Touchett’s quotes, only have it misplaced now. The following one were taken by me as guidance:

    “He has no money ; he has no name ; he has no importance. I value such things and I have the courage to say it ; I think they’re very precious. Many other people think the same, and they show it. But they give some other reason.”

    “She ought to marry some one of whose disinterestedness she shall herself be sure; and there would be no such proof of that as his having a fortune of his own.”

    I don’t want to be any man’s “saviour.” But I am attracted by the role of the one who helps the man to realise that intelligence doesn’t exclude beauty and vice versa and that beautiful women can be faithful. I would really love men to think like Petronius from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis, the quote went something like, “A beautiful woman is worth her weight in gold, and the one who loves in addition is beyond any value.” I am pretty, I am intelligent, I have so many virtues, why don’t I see worthy men lining up?

    Or maybe it’s your idealism that is too high?

    But then I wouldn’t have liked that waiter on a trip so immensely. Yet, I had reservations, because the difference in our levels of education was obviously felt (he talked about having seen aliens!). I was so enamoured by him that I immediately started to build castles in Spain thinking how we could make it work across two countries and what I should do to guard myself should he not have honest intentions.

    So what exactly is your ideal ‘prince’ seeing as you are still enamored with it, or at least enough to mention it?

    I don’t have a list to put check marks against.

    But I really thought for quite a long time that I only had to be a “good girl” and to wait long enough and my prince would come and we will live happily ever after. Seriously. Up until #1 broke up with me. But then I still could hope for the same thing until I met #3 because I was still a virgin.

    But turn that around and question yourself how much effort you are willing to put into the relationship and why.

    I am willing to go all the way as long as I see the other party go all the way. But I don’t want to be too far ahead, so I always stop and look whether he is still there, still investing.

    Mark on Tiny Buddha often gives advice like this on what constitutes love: https://tinybuddha.com/topic/i-have-feelings-for-another-woman-should-i-tell-her/

    Only I don’t know whether this can help if the feeling simply is no longer there.

    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.

    GL, see above. 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.

    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.

    … 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?

    No. GL, I never lie to myself. I don’t care whether he is a narcissist or not. I am used to processing what has happened to me, understand what made people do what they did. Like an author writing a novel. With him, I can’t tell. My only explanation for his actions and behaviour is that he is a covert narcissist. Nothing else seems to fit the facts.

    As for the rose-tinted glasses, on the one hand, it is only now that I feel some sort of anger (DABDA stages of grief, in any order) for whatever reason at how he treated me in the end of our relationship and certainly after we officially talked and remained friends (that money borrowed, etc.) and on the other, I merely follow that psychologist’s advice to retain a positive picture of the 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.

    But right now, you need to address your hold on your ex. It doesn’t seem you are over him,

    Do you know that parable about two Buddhist monks who helped a woman to cross a stream? One of them went a long way talking about how they shouldn’t have touched the woman, how wrong they had been? Well, in that sense, I am still not over my ex. I want to fully dissect the relationship. Don’t know if I can though.

    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.

    There is one quote in “The Portrait of a Lady” that I wrote out, but can’t find now. It is something along the lines of “when you loved deeply, that love lingers, a trace of it will always be there in your heart, no matter what.”

     you still look at his wife’s social media to understand their current relationship status.

    I addressed that part above. It is more of a question of self-esteem now, I want to know that I was right and that his love and proclaimed devotion to her will not go past Year 6 mark.

    You still wonder if he is a narcissist, which is why you can’t get over his callous act of dumping you.

    Well, this was not the first injustice that has occurred to me in the course of my life and I still remember every one of those people. 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.

    Maybe I was looking too deep and exaggerating, but these posts seemed very familiar and sort of rang true:

    https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/we-need-to-talk-about-narcissists-20-mindset-shifts-to-help-you-stop-crazy-making-yourself/

    https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/how-to-spot-an-assclown/

    You don’t wonder if your other exes were narcissist, only this one.

    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?

    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.

    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. 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.

    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.

    Oh, I do want “forever.” And yes, you are right, it is a matter of control.

    As for death, I used to think that death is preferable to a betrayal. But now I am not so sure because one never knows what would have happened if the other hadn’t died. It is useless to imagine “what if he hadn’t died,” whereas if one is betrayed, one can still have a chance with that person (what if he repents Dostoyevski-like? (Not that I would want to get back with any of my exes now)) or with another one, even better? One can really talk about 100% faithfulness to each other only when both are on their death beds, can’t one?

    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.

    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.”

    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?

    1. 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.

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

    Remember that colleague of mine who advised me to pursue men? Well, just two weeks ago she complained that she is now the one who not only takes care of the household, but who also deals with contractors now and deals with handymen. “Somehow” this is now her responsibility. If you ask me, I would say that this is a direct consequence of her desire to take care of everything. Just like I told her.

    Or even with my ex. I told him a couple of times that when the wife and the mistress are locked in a status quo for so long, the man finds a way out in a totally new woman. Exactly what happened.

    One more guy at work. Didn’t like him. A colleague of mine got together with him, had a child and then he got fired and was not very keen on finding a job. She kicked him out.

    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.

    On the other hand, there was a guy of whom I was wary. I couldn’t decide whether he was to be trusted or not. He just seemed to have too much of that “live and let live attitude.” A good colleague of mine told me that he was totally okay, and after we had worked together on several occasions (and discussed films and he even advised me to read Tolstoy’s Resurrection), I changed my mind about him. (Confession is on my list, too.)

    So I do have reasons to believe that I reserve my judgement until it is absolutely clear what kind of person I am dealing with. No jumping at conclusions.

    Over to you now.

    #300957

    X
    Participant

    * Didn’t update under “Topics.”

    #300959

    X
    Participant

    *

    #303295

    GL
    Participant

    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.

    #306415

    X
    Participant

    Hi X,

    Life gets so busy, doesn’t it?

    Hi, GL,

    Sorry for the delay, very busy month at work.

    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?

    I am afraid I don’t understand what contradiction you see here.

    The Witch may have been a control freak (as a possible version), so she didn’t care that much for Rapunzel, but for her own (the Witch’s) peace of mind. And for that, she needed Rapunzel in the tower. Why not?

    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?

    GL, here I need to admit that I don’t remember all the details of this fairy tale. I am operating off the recent Disney animated feature film. Besides, to be really able to judge one needs to read the text in the original, unabridged version and, preferably, in the language it was written. Some translations made a long time ago allow for a certain liberty with the text akin to what happens when poems are translated as poems. I don’t know if anyone ever verified translations of fairy tales made, say, in the XIXth century against the original text. Yet, these may be the versions that are reprinted and reprinted. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised that if these fairy tales were translated now, the final texts may end up being quite different.

    More than that, the mere genre of a fairy tale hardly ever provides insight into the motives or psychology of the protagonists.

    According to Disney, she wanted out, but I cannot say that the Grimms explicitly say that she, like the Little Mermaid, wanted out to explore.

    Fairy tales hardly ever give a full psychological portrait of the protagonists. There is a lot of room for speculation, just like you wrote yourself about Prince Charmings.

    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.

    But that means the right that one has because one is stronger, doesn’t it?

    I would say that in your example with work they are allowed to obstruct because the rules say that what I do is not allowed. And the rules are written by somebody with his or her own agenda in mind. Who pays the piper, calls the tune – this has always been the case, hasn’t it?

    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.

    I am sorry, GL, why are you talking about books with pictures? Did something make you think I was opting for books with pictures? One of my favourite books that had a lot of fairy tales in it and counted close to 300 pages had no pictures at all. Yet, I kept reading and rereading it when I was 6 or 7 or 8.

    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.

    No, I didn’t “have the ability to go further.” You are making assumptions.

    The children’s section was in one huge room, the adults’ (or teenagers’ starting age 14 or so) was in another. If I, a 7 or 8-year old (because at the age of 9 I read “The Three Musketeers” and fairy tales and myths were forgotten in favour of history and adventure novels) had shown up on the threshold of that other section, the librarian sitting by the entrance would have asked for my card (and one couldn’t borrow books without a card issued on the basis of one’s ID that showed date of birth) or, seeing that I was definitely not 14, would have taken me by the hand to the children’s section.

    Again, that if I had known that adult versions existed and had come looking for them. And I didn’t even know that they existed back then.

    Besides, I guess that I would have read a couple of pages of those adult versions and lost interest. Just like I didn’t particularly enjoy the Grimms’ fairy tales or Hans Christian Andersen’s.

    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.

    Just a matter of taste, I guess. I tried to start “The Hobbit” several times as my cousins adored it, but my enthusiasm would fade after a couple of chapters. Stopped at the scene with spiders and could continue only when I was 20. Similarly, could never read further than a few pages of “Mary Poppins.” Found her boring and an abhorrent hypocrite. On the other hand, I loved “Nancy Drew,” but one of my professors later said that she thought her to be a terrible snob. Different strokes for different folks as they say.

    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.

    Exactly. That is why adult versions of fairy tales are meant to be read by adults and are not to be found in library children’s sections.

    What kind of life do you wish for yourself then?

    I relate a lot to Professor Higgins from “My Fair Lady,” just replace “man” with “woman.”

    I’m an ordinary man,

    who desires nothing more than just an ordinary chance

    to live exactly as he likes, and do precisely what he wants.

    An average man am I, of no eccentric whim,

    who likes to live his life free of strife,

    doing whatever he thinks is best for him.

    I’m a quiet living man,

    who prefers to spend the evening in the silence of his room,

    who likes an atmosphere as restful

    as an undiscovered tomb.

    A pensive man am I, of philosophic joys,

    who likes to meditate, contemplate,

    free from humanity’s mad inhuman noise.

    Just a quiet living man.

    With an addition of regular travels to spruce things up a bit. This is exactly the way I live now. BUT I have always dreamt of doing it all with a partner who could also add to my being certain that this way of life will continue and not change. And this is what I am looking for now.

    What kind of meaning are you making for yourself?

    I am no genius. I am highly unlikely to make a discovery that will dramatically improve people’s lives. I won’t find a cure from AIDS or cancer or invent a way to travel close to the speed of light. So I figure that the least I can do is to leave no trace, to inflict as little harm as possible. And on the contrary, to do as much good as possible within my means, as long as it doesn’t deplete my own resources, my own “battery,” which isn’t as powerful as some other folks’.

    Ever wonder if the fact that you feel attracted to drive is because you wish for it yourself,

    Yes, that was one of the things I came across in some article after the breakup and that made me think. Namely, that part of the reason for my being attracted to this guy and that guy is because they possess (or seem to possess) the qualities (or perks / comforts) that I wish for myself.

    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?

    GL, I am sorry, I can’t quite make out what you were trying to say here. Could you rephrase or put proper punctuation marks, please?

    So you say I wish the drive for myself, but fear the outcome? Why would I fear the outcome?

    What does it have to do with “should you actually want fame or fortune”?

    Or is it your suggestion that if I want fame and fortune, I should date somebody who has it?

    And yes, I love the position of somebody who has the power to say yes or no, but not have responsibility. Kind of like those French women for whom men still open doors and carry heavy things, but who do have the right to vote and all other rights.

    Also, it seems as if you think happiness is something you achieve by being in a relationship, not something you choose.

    That may be so. I concede that it may very well be that once I am in a healthy loving relationship, after some time, all these feelings and doubts and lack of energy and whatnot will return. And then I’ll know by experience that this is something that I need to figure out myself and that cannot be remedied by a relationship.

    (On the other hand, doesn’t Anita and didn’t Michelle both say to others that this or that mental issue will be healed once in loving relationship with a decent man?)

    The problem is that, looking back, I have never been in a healthy loving relationship, so I can’t tell whether it is true or not.

    Also, I was so elated when in the relationship. That feeling of bliss seemed to be so much more intense and lasting so much longer than feelings of joy, etc. that I had felt before, in any given point of my life.

    That fact (however subjective for the given moment) AND the awareness that everything in life, such as fame, money, luck, etc. is fleeting and not lasting naturally reinforced that idea of me finally finding terra firma, something real to hold on. I took time, I waited, and finally, I found it or rather, my ex found me – just like those good beautiful fairy-tale princesses.

    Throw in here the metaphysical conviction (or consolation) that I had made for myself before – that I hadn’t asked to be born and that I would have no problems trading everything I had in life, all the ups and downs and the uncertainty of existence against never being born, the non-existence.

    So my logic went that since I was born, life or whoever made me born just HAD to make me happy.

    So this relationship had absolutely no right not to be “true life.”

    All that certainly contributed to my holding on for dear life as long as I could.

    I actually need to thank my ex for falling for somebody else and dumping me, because given the character of his now ex-wife and mine, this situation would have lasted for much longer.

    Probably, it would have lasted until I got tired of waiting. (Especially, if it became clear that he wouldn’t be coming to this country on business trips and wouldn’t make any effort to come on his own.). Then my interest would dwindle and then I would meet somebody else, like the guy “who led me on” who would meet my “external” criteria and seemingly meet my internal by pursuing me.

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

    What if they say that their happiness and well-being is being with you no matter what?

    Why must you act on these attachments?

    You said so yourself, right above: “But love, affection, warmth; those are wired into the evolutionary genes that was inherited again and again by the humans on this earth.

    I am a pretty healthy woman in my mid-30s and the last time I kissed the man I loved on the lips and made love to him was over five years ago. It was never my intention to become a nun. Do I need to elaborate further?

    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’.

    Key word: too hard. The golden mean of Confucius is a good rule to follow. Of course, one has to use one’s head, but if you acknowledge that the expected improvement on your side will be good for you, you would be a fool not to improve. And it is so much easy to improve when you know that the other side looks forward to it and has trust in you.

    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.

    I am talking about everybody’s tacit understanding that until you and your date have that exclusivity talk, it is assumed that both of you can be dating other people at that same time while figuring out with whom you have the most attraction and the most compatibility. I wouldn’t be able to do it because if I would it consider a waste of time to even date somebody if I am not attracted to him. (Compatibility and initial attraction, which is the same as chemistry for me) hopefully taken care of in previous interactions.)

    That’s why dating isn’t always about finding a partner, it is also about making connections that might evolved into a friendship.

    Sorry, there a million other ways to find friends other than dating.

    And I would hate to lead the other person on if I am not interested in him romantically, but I can see that he is.

    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.

    I am not sure he has published any articles. I am only aware of the books I mentioned. I came across his books out there on the web five or six years ago when I was researching relationships in all the languages that I speak. Russian is one of them. This guy is Russian, his name is Andrey Zberovskiy, but I doubt that any of his books have been translated in other languages, even English.

    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.

    The meeting example is the example of weighing one thing against the other – what is more important – the phone call to be made or the meeting. Whereas if there is no mobile service coverage, one can’t do anything. Similarly, one can’t keep one’s promise to return home safe and sound from war if one is killed.

    But again, GL, I read that five or six years ago, and my memory of this one is rather vague. I am still warming up to the idea of rereading the books because I remember seeing several seemingly contradicting statements and I wanted to jot them down to think them over in a more thorough way.

    ‘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.

    So you do agree that males are taught to be tough and strong?

    That guy, Zberovskiy, conducted lots of polls, sometimes describing a situation and asking what men and women would make of it. For instance, it never occurred to me that accepting a man’s invitation to a cup of tea after dinner at a restaurant (where they can’t brew a proper cup of tea, and I so much enjoy a cup of tea after dinner, not to mention the restaurant’s oversweetened desserts that I can hardly eat) at their place is perceived by at least 35% of men (65% act dependent on the situation) as not my accepting to continue the lively discussion we started but didn’t finish at the restaurant, but my accepting to have sex with them. I swear I never thought that men view it like it – and then, after I read it and after I looked back at some hand-holding initiated by men whom I considered to be solid friends and nothing more than friends – I realised how true at least that poll was.

    Again, some polls didn’t show show any major differences in male vs female perceptions of the same situation, but some, like the one above, showed a major one. At least in my own vs men’s view.

    In some cases, I remember, the author would say that to further filter the results he would rephrase the question and still get the same percentage distribution. So I guess that the answer to your question is yes, he took that into account.

    Or else, the author made a point that some young innocent women like to talk about their previous relationships possibly in the hope that if they tell it all, the men will also tell it all. But men are cleverer than that: they listen to the women’s revelations and give only one or two accounts of their previous partners. Men are not fools, so Anita’s advice to talk calmly in a non-threatening tone to find out the truth flies out of the window. My ex would often refer to an anecdote when a woman asks her partner to tell her the truth promising no scenes and when he complies and tells her all the truth, she goes through the roof.

    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.

    I stopped grinding my teeth at night. That was my unconsciousness “biting the bullet.” I started grinding them when the time came for him to keep his promise and he didn’t. That lasted until our breakup. One more sign that that relationship was so toxic for me and that it was good riddance.

    As for wondering about the status, I think I mentioned before that once every two years or so I research my #1, only he doesn’t have a Facebook account and there is virtually zero info on him in Google. I do look up former classmates. I do look up that girlfriend of mine who went MIA telling me she was moving to another country and would write to me once settled. Just plain curiosity and an understandable human desire to make sure that I am not worse than others, maybe even better off in the long run.

    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.

    Eh, I think that he just didn’t like to look deep into himself despite him claiming that he “always tried to figure out why he didn’t like somebody.” Or I should have just taken his word literally and assumed that he only looked deep into himself when he didn’t like somebody. I extrapolated to that he ALWAYS looked deep into himself figuring out why he felt this or that. (Which I normally do.)

    He did like to point out details (“The devil is in details – a Mercedes and a cart have four wheels, but they are mighty different vehicles, aren’t they?”) or, on the contrary, made generalising statements to include everything like in the example above.

    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.

    Everyone wants the best for himself or herself, doesn’t s/he? His job comes first or, rather, the way he liked to put it, the job and his relationship with me were of equal weight. Meaning that he wouldn’t be happy without either. Since I was agreeing to wait, he was happy to carry on like that, especially after the novelty of the romance faded (and until struck by Cupid’s new love arrow).

    He wouldn’t have necessarily lost his job, but a lot of what he does, he does together with other men, and no one wants to have an unstable partner. I think that the way he behaved when wooing his current wife #4 turned away a few of them from him. He missed a few deadlines then.

    Worse, his colleagues thought that his parents were ill, that is why he was taking time off work to go to his native city from the city where he worked in our home country. Later on, it turned out that he had been taking time off work to go and see a mistress. Folks didn’t appreciate that.

    When he was with me, one morning, I couldn’t stand the situation (he – wife – I) and phoned him to discuss the future of our relationship and where we stood, he got so excited that failed an important interview that could land him still another promotion. I am bringing this to show that he was indeed very emotionally involved in all his romances.

    And his colleagues all together have a say in what projects he gets to perform and with whom. If no one wants to work with him because they see him unfit because of his constant change of spouses and partners, then he simply stays where he is until retirement. Sort of what is happening to him now, I think.

    But yes, he secured himself an excellent retirement plan upon achieving that important milestone (the one after achieving which he promised me to divorce his wife #3).

    And of course, as a loving woman I was telling myself that I want him to be happy, that if he is happy, I am happy, that I need to trust him, that he might not telling me some things, but if he is asking me to wait a little bit more, he is asking it for us both, that whatever he does, he has OUR happiness in mind, that what he has in mind is intended for BOTH OF US. Exactly like Natalie Lue says narcissists and their victims behave – explaining away and rationalising and putting words in the mouths of their narcissists, words and intentions that the narcissists may have never even thought about enunciating!

    Even though it is not China, I have yet to think of, for instance, a politician who would be marrying and divorcing his wives without thinking about the impact these actions would have on his electors. In any country, even the most advanced ones.

    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.

    Depends on the work. If your work is something you have finally landed after twenty years of going towards it and if it is something you have been dreaming of since kindergarten, I am not so sure. Again, it is not an office job that “can be found anywhere” like you put it.

    But just like with saying that all love languages were important to him and that not everything is what it seems, he was putting himself in a very safe position by saying that to be happy, he needs both in equal measure – his job and his beloved.

    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.

    You misunderstood me. I didn’t mean compassion and understanding for me. I wonder what image your mind has conjured of me, what I have written so far that made you think I was asking you or anybody else for pity???

    I meant compassion and understanding for my ex.

    Also, it sounds like you are the one who keeps stating that my ex was a jerk and not a narcissist for some reason thinking that I want him to be a narcissist so that I can absolve him of what he did.

    I am merely discussing different versions, like an investigator who puts together pieces of a puzzle. Yet, it seems that the mere fact of my ex not keeping his promise if enough for you to say that he is not worthy right off the bat. Are you familiar with the saying “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes”? Not that it is not merely putting his shoes on, but walking the road that that man has walked in those shoes. If he had promised to return from war and didn’t return because he was killed, would you be also saying that “promise” is the key word?

    Is there any difference between stealing a loaf of bread and, say, a car? Both are stealing, but the value of the stolen item is vastly different. Throughout history, some cultures had the same punishment for stealing – no matter of what item, whereas others differentiated between the value of what had been stolen.

    Think of me as a surgeon or an author dissecting motivations and actions. I could never quite make my ex out while I was with him; now the picture is more or less clear. But I would sure like him to fall in love anew and to divorce wife #4 to be able to tell myself that my analysis of his psyche and modus operandi is correct.

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

    He had kept ALL the other promises, and this one had weighty mitigating circumstances around it.

    All our discussions ultimately ran into the wall of his “I cannot divorce her now.” It was an agree-to-disagree situation. And yes, I stayed because it was my choice to stay and still wait.

    I have often wondered the following. How can we ever talk about verbal abuse or verbal harassment if it is entirely our choice how we react to it? Say, if a mad person accosts you, you wouldn’t be in a least offended, would you? The why do people condemn those who abuse verbally? Even on Tiny Buddha, you see so many replies to different posts saying “S/he had no right to treat you (verbally – I am only talking about verbal abuse) like that”

    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?

    Hang on, GL. Wife #1 was two years younger than he (they met at college) and she was the one that cheated on him and gave birth to another man’s son. Then he married his wife #2, his age, and he is not sure whether the kid (hmm, now a 25-year old man) is his son or not. He pursued married women LONG AFTER his divorce from Wife #1. And he pursued them AFTER he divorced Wife #2.

    He didn’t have anybody on the side until he met me in Year 6 of his being married to Wife #3. And then in Year 6 of our relationship and in Year 12 of his marriage to Wife #3, he met this other woman who is now his Wife #4.

    Are you reproaching me pointing fingers at his wife or are you reproaching him that he is pointing fingers at her? Where did I say that he was pointing fingers at his own wife?

    It is I who is saying, “it 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.” I am trying to understand WHY he is the way he is in his relationships.

    And I disagree. Just like in stealing, there is a difference between cheating on with somebody and telling about it to one’s spouse AND cheating on with somebody, not telling about it to one’s spouse and then giving birth to a baby saying it is the spouse’s when in reality it is another man’s baby.

    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?

    Sorry, I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Who is similar to whom and who did what again and again?

    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.

    Again, I am the only one out of his eight women with whom he had a 20+-year difference. Wife #1 was two years younger than he, wife #2 was the same age, one lady after divorce from wife #2 and two married women – about the same age, wife #3 – four years older than he was, me – 20+ years younger, wife #4 – eight years younger than he.

    Where do you see “much younger females” in plural here?

    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.

    Exactly what Natalie Lue said about narcissists. That they know that all the scenes and words made and spoken by their victims are just that – scenes and words. Nothing more.

    Yet, you dismissed that website right from the start.

    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?

    No, it didn’t. Remember, ours was a very long-distance relationship. How can the two stay present in each other’s lives if they are not trying to imitate living side by side as much as they can? Thankfully, technologies permit it now.

    You could restate the question and ask how insecure he was wanting to contact me that often. All the time, after we made up, he would himself say, “All right, I’ll phone you at lunch.” And then, “Will you wake me up as usual?”

    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.

    Sorry, don’t get this part: how come HE was right to dump me if he was the one with problems. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Please rephrase or elaborate.

    His loss, right? You are definitely feeling vindicated if you can’t wish him well after your break up.

    I didn’t like HOW he was breaking up with me (first, not the way we had discussed breaking up if one of us ever would fall for another person; then going MIA for two months; not keeping his promise to ring me when I finally got him on the phone; then what kind of a “friend” he showed himself to be after he himself said he wanted to remain on good friendly terms; how he unfriended me on social media; finally, that story with borrowed money). And it is not the fact that he fell in love with somebody else (I also felt very attracted to a couple of people during the time we were together), it is the fact that he had done nothing to prevent it.

    Besides, GL, like I said, it is how I feel and rationalise on the emotional level.

    On the level of intelligence, I don’t wish him anything at all. De mortuis aut bene, aut nihil – that is my approach to such people.

    That is why I asked you in the previous letter, is it not what we do that matters and not what we think?

    Second, he was not merely maintaining the level of his 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.

    Yes, stories like that on Tiny Buddha and other forums helped me to see that a lot of people were in the same boat as I was. Even worse when their fiancés broke off engagements, husbands ran off with secretaries, left them with a few kids, etc.

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

    How was it that him having no friend(s) is not a red flag?

    Well, I never thought about it. It is now that I have read so much about relationships, I know that it is not a good sign.

    Besides, I couldn’t say about myself that I had friends, like real friends who stick with you through thick and thin. As I told Michelle, for a long time, including the time when I was with him, I comparmentalised friends and topics and things that I discussed or did with them.

    Say, I have lived in this country for over twelve years now and I still don’t have friends here. I have one real friend, but I had known him before I came over here. But I do have very good colleagues and acquaintances about whom I can sometimes say that they are “friends.”

    This is one more feature that made me think we were made for each other AND that confirms that idea that like attracts like. That I couldn’t have been attracted to him if we hadn’t been so similar in a lot of aspects.

    There was just one red flag for me (if we omit his marriage status). I once said, all elated, “Just imagine, what a chance it is for us, who are so much alike, have so much compatibility and so much chemistry, to have found each other! It is such a rare occurrence!”

    And he goes, “It is not a big deal to find somebody like that.” It was so contradictory to his lovey-dovey behaviour and to his constantly underscoring and saying that I was that one big love of his life, forever and ever.

    I still think that it is so much easier for him to fall in love with a stranger than to rekindle the passion with a past love of his. Just like a switch, as I was saying, – either on or off and never for the same person.

    Also, you then say he has friends now? Or is that before or after?

    Would you mind quoting the sentence? Context does matter.

    Besides, there are friends and friends. In English, “friends” are often the same people that in other languages would be called “good acquaintances.”

    Why is it that he can be on good terms with couples, but not with just people?

    That I don’t know. But it does seem that he is either friends with females or with couples (because of the female?) Or on good terms with men because they can be useful in his career.

    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.

    Not quite.

    First, if we talk about single men to whom I have been attracted since my breakup, I can name the “guy on the trip” who was effectively single.

    Next, there was this guy to whom I was attracted even when with my ex. He divorced a long time ago, is single and happy and seemingly not looking for anybody. I described to Matt how he was warming my hands once. Funnily enough, at first glance, I can name men to whom I am much more attracted than to him, but when I imagine myself with him, I can very well see how I would not need or ever think about anybody else. Interesting, huh?

    Finally, the bald guy from the seamanship programme, who approached me first, but when I tried to reciprocate, stopped initiating. He was single and happy, too.

    As for the married men, the fact that none of them pursued me in the way my ex did certainly doesn’t meet your “wouldn’t mind the attention of someone younger.”

    I am more concerned at this stage with why I still like men who are twenty years older. It seems like the twenty-year gap never changes, just shifts with me getting older. Or am I becoming ever wiser and wiser that only those who are twenty years older can keep up with it? I doubt it, but I have no answer. And again, there are a lot of exceptions, it is only a trend that now that I am in my 30s, I find not so many men in their 40+ to look at, like I did when I was 15 or 25, but rather men in their 50s.

    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 agree that it was a quick judgement. Why are you bringing it up?

    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?

    Why are you saying “without considering your point of view”? He would listen calmly and attentively to ALL that I had to say, and then would say, “It is not so.” Just what else could he do???

    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?

    Oh, now I see where that half a year comes from! GL, ours was a very long-distance relationship. We spent about half a year together in this country, living together, and then he went to our home country. That was in early summer. Next I went to our home country and we met a couple of times during my stay there. I stayed at my parents’, he stayed at his place in a couple of hours’ distance from mine. Note that I had been to his place during my stays in my home country before. It was obvious that his wife and he were living separate lives, by the way. I didn’t go to his place that time.

    And it was in mid-spring next year that he met that new flame of his.

    Hence the roughly half a year of us not seeing each other, not being in the same time and space before he fell in love with her.

    We saw each other again in this country only in mid-summer that next year, some four months after he met his current wife #4.

    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?

    Exactly. That is why I am saying that if I was that “something new,” he would have divorced his wife #3 and dumped his mistress. So my point is that it is not the fact that his now wife #4 has some extraordinary exclusive qualities, but merely the timing. It could have been any woman just as his mistress could have been any woman.

    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 sapiens need to reproduce.

    Right, he knows that. He said that normally, passion (or infatuation) transforms into love, attachment, deep care for the other person. Not for him.

    Kind of like my ex. The switch is either on or off. He can either be on the dopamine high or you start doubting whether he really cares for you. I thought that it was my own insecurities taking over, for flowers and fireworks cannot last forever, that it was me, not him. However, it turned out that my intuition was right – in his case passion equals love and there is no love after passion.

    Just my opinion.

    So he never cheated on his first/second wife?

    No, he didn’t. I repeat that his first affair out of wedlock was with me. Second – with his current wife #4 when he cheated both on me and on his wife #3.

    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?

    Sure, I may not know a lot of things. Of course, we can say that he is no different from all other men, that all men cheat on his wives, that he cheated all his life, that he cheated on me with his wife and with other ladies at the same time and so on and so forth.

    BUT there are two very telling similarities in how he treated me and his wife #3 and how he treated his new mistress and me. He told his wife about me after he had sex with me. He went MIA on me only after he had sex with his new mistress.

    More than that. After he and I said I love you, he started preparing his wife for the news by leaving my picture on their family computer desktop.

    After we had sex and he came back from his second business trip (we didn’t even kiss on his first one, remember?), he talked to her the very same evening.

    After that, for three months, including his one more business trip here, we communicated any time of the day and night. I could sometimes even hear his wife’s voice in the background.

    More than that, they agreed to keep up appearances until he can divorce her. His wife wanted to feel good about the situation and she even sent me a plush toy and some cosmetics.

    I passed on some fashion jewellery to her.

    During that time, there were no red flags, no off feelings, no issues, it was like a honeymoon. I was so happy – he told her about us, she understood, she is okay keeping up appearances for the sake of his job, he and I are living and behaving like a real couple.

    Then, after three months, something happened. She must have decided to fight for him. She started making scenes. After that we had to coordinate times when we would talk (depending on whether she is at home or not).

    Fast forward to Year 4 or so (see, I am already starting to forget dates that used to be so important to me – I do have them all written down as a timeline, but that is in a sealed envelope hidden faraway). He suddenly decides that he can phone me at lunch and before going to bed no matter whether she is at home or not.

    So yes, of course, everything is possible, but I don’t think so.

    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.

    Why would I want to date somebody who is dense?

    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.

    That is true. Yet, the vibes I get from, say, my manager’s husband who buys me coffee when he has an opportunity, are clearly “passing attraction,” but they are totally different from the vibes I get from the “big boss guy.” True, I can’t imagine myself with my manager’s husband, you could say that this is why I don’t feel it from him. However, I could imagine myself with two guys who keep hugging me every time they see me (I wrote about them to Matt), I do like them, I could see myself with them, BUT I don’t get that kind of romantic vibes from them like I do from the “big boss guy.” Just feels different.

    Yet, I have a very firm intention not to believe anything until I explicitly hear it or see it all spelled out in writing. So all of it pretty much speculation and fleeting feelings of mine at this point.

    Can you really say that ‘like’ can be developed simply because they might be interested in getting into bed with you?

    I am sorry, I don’t get this sentence. Could you please elaborate?

    Honestly, the best thing to do is to simply ask them out a coffee date to talk.

    Sorry, a secretary can’t ask the CEO to a coffee date, no matter what country she lives in, even if it is the XXIst century. I’d have the guts to do it, but I care for my job and there is such a thing as hierarchy.

    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.

    No, not friendliness. She was referring to how many things and activities I manage to fit into my day.

    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?

    Exactly. That is what I started to do. Say, I enjoyed travelling with my ex, I am now finishing off the list of places I wanted to visit with him. Somewhere in the first third of my travels, I stopped missing him (the guy “who led me on” certainly did his part here) except in cases when I needed my suitcase to be pushed into an upper bin or when I couldn’t leave my stuff with somebody when going to the loo.

    That is why I am saying that I feel so much more whole and complete now. But I could subscribe to those on this thread: https://tinybuddha.com/topic/notoriously-single/

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

    That is where that friend > date > sex sequence comes in. Sometimes I think there is chemistry, but after a couple of talks I see that I was wrong.

    Michelle (and others) praised Mark Manson’s blog a lot. At the same time, Manson is known for writing about how fleeting feelings are. Yet, see how much attention he gives to chemistry :

    https://markmanson.net/compatibility-and-chemistry

    Still, I do think that he feels chemistry for many more people than I do. See how he many dates he mentions at the end of the article, “I regularly find myself seeing teachers, nurses, social workers, volunteer workers, etc. multiple times and sometimes having a serious relationship with them.” The way he puts it, plural and such a list, makes me think of him as serial dater and somebody who definitely has chemistry with MANY MORE people than I do. I wouldn’t want to do that or be dated like that.

    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 don’t get the point. Yes, if he is interested, he would ask me out – what is wrong with this assumption? When I say “like,” I mean “I feel chemistry.” And I think we have established that I can’t date without having chemistry. It is not my fault that I don’t have chemistry with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

    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.

    I operated off Natalie Lue’s website. She draws very clear distinction between a narcissist and a mere jerk. I am no psychologist, I don’t know her credentials, so I asked for yours and for your opinion about the website and the information therein.

    I thank you very much for this snapshot of him here and the one you gave me two letters back I think, the one about co-dependency.

    And fitting your diagnosis of him being co-dependent, he would pick up hobbies and interests of his women. With me, we travelled a big deal, he started to take horse riding lessons, attended my martial art classes and so on. With his current wife, he is into fashion and dress now.

    But I wonder – if co-dependent people get together, how come they ever break up? Like I fit the co-dependency criteria, my ex fits them, too. Yet, he was the one to get out first. How is this at all possible with co-dependent folks? Why don’t they stay stuck with one another exactly because they are co-dependent?

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

    Again, it is my emotional level speaking.

    My intelligent level says it is all nonsense.

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

    Let’s see… Somebody in finance and a life coach at the same time, with a good hygiene… How are these criteria suggested by you not stricter than mine?

    I am no motivational speaker, yet, I am able to discuss such things with you. I am no millionaire, yet, I am quite comfortable living the life I lead. If this means that I am exceptional, then hey, yes, I want an exceptional man!

    Why do you think you can’t save yourself?

    I wouldn’t mind a safety net. If I lived in Scandinavia, I wouldn’t have a lot of the problems I may potentially face in this country.

    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.

    Excuse me, GL, but what men??? I am not dating anybody. No one whom I thought I had chemistry with and was eligible (i.e. not in a relationship and not 60+-years old) has asked me out. Not counting the guy on the trip who talked about his ex. I had just one date with several guys with whom I had no chemistry, just to make sure there was none. The guy from the shooting range, whom I couldn’t physically stand, actually thanked me for telling me that we could only be friends after a chat in a coffee shop (you could treat it as date #1). He said others before me would keep being ambiguous just to keep him there just in case.

    So how come I am “dating these men because you want to spite someone, however you think you may feel for them”??? Aren’t you mixing me up with somebody???

    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?

    So are you saying that there is nothing wrong with me and my meeting somebody worthy and with whom I would have chemistry is just a matter of time and chance?

    So the only thing I need to do is to increase those chances?

    Bingo, that is what I was trying to find out.

    Or is there anything else in your opinion?

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

    But I don’t have to go on a date in order to talk to them!

    Rather then self-esteem, you seem to be searching for something in these ‘men’ of yours.

    Well, as we said, on the emotional side, I am looking for somebody who will put on the pedestal and woo me (the best proof would be leaving his partner for me) AND who will provide for my safety and security by being generous and successful himself so that I don’t have to worry about my own means.

    And sorry to break it to you, but not everyone has the free time to worry about searching for a date for the weekends.

    Care to elaborate?

    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?

    I did mourn it. Again, I don’t understand what you are implying?

    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.

    True. This was one of my findings, i.e. lessons learnt after the breakup. I am aware of this now.

    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?

    When I was not in love and when I watched romantic films, I automatically imagined myself in the place of the heroine. Fell in love with the leading man. When he was embracing or kissing the leading lady on the screen, I imagined that I was in her place.

    When I was in love and watched similar films, the leading man and the leading lady could have been embracing or kissing, but I, in my mind, was embracing or kissing my partner.

    If the love interest of mine is not on my mind 24/7, if I can imagine myself with this guy and with that guy, it means that I am not attached to anybody. If I can only imagine myself with somebody to a degree, that means that I am in love to a degree.

    Isn’t not thinking about somebody new 24/7 or not at all a sign of having moved on?

    Have you watched A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme in French)? Remember the love scene? I sure would think it is disrespectful on my part if I allow the man to get that close to me, but I, myself, can still see my ex in his place.

    What is moving on for you?

    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.

    The Christian man brought condoms once. We had petting and were about to do the penetration act when – like in a film – his wife phoned. Right before. I was so angry that he reached for his phone (and hadn’t turned it off) that I never went that far with him again. And then three months later my ex came into the picture.

    #1 did try to caress me into having sex the two nights that he spent with me.

    I suspect that he broke off with me not only because I would be going away – he stopped communication a good two or three weeks before the day of my departure, but because I didn’t give in. Why waste one’s efforts if one is not getting sex?

    At least that is my cynical interpretation.

    Maybe he didn’t want to get more attached and was guarding his heart knowing that he wouldn’t be able to sustain long-distance and/or break up with his partner because of me. That would be noble.

    I guess I’ll never know the truth.

    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.

    True, there are no requirements. But in all my 30+ years of life, I have never developed feelings for somebody whom I could see and like only as a friend from the very beginning.

    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?

    I meant that life holds many possibilities, including very unpleasant ones, until the very last breath we take. So one’s partner of 50 years potentially can still cheat. Sometimes, one reads about 90-year old something people getting divorced (or married). One is able to say with 100% certainty that one hasn’t cheat only when there is no way or time to cheat.

    His behavior is labeled as ‘co-dependent’ due to his addiction/need to forming relationships with young women of 20s.

    Again, I was the only woman with whom he had a 20-year difference. Please see above.

    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.

    This rings true to what I was able to deduce from the materials I came across.

    I don’t know if you entered the relationship with open eyes, but you did allow yourself to be wooed by him.

    Millions of women allow themselves to be wooed. His wife #4, too. What mistake in that?

    You allowed yourself to believe his promise of marrying you.

    He would say that was indeed his intention. As soon as he could. “But I cannot do it right now.”

    You allowed yourself to be addicted to this past affair.

    Sorry, don’t get this one???

    He might not have lied to you, but he had certainly hid the status of his new relationship.

    I am sorry, what exactly are you talking about here?

    Or did he told you that you were the only one?

    He did tell me that I was the only one he loved until he met his new lady. His last “I love you” was said in March, he met her one month later. And one more month later, he went MIA.

    By the way, their relationship was also long-distance. Albeit not between countries, but between two cities.

    Because you did write that he stopped mentioning ‘the divorce’ a few years in when it was not possible.

    He stopped talking about it on his own. But when I would ask whether my understanding that divorcing is still his intention, he would say yes.

    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.

    Exactly. That is what I begrudge him. But one needs time to figure out whom one loves, doesn’t one? I myself spent a terrible six weeks or so deciding between #2 and #3 (my ex), not telling anything to #2. So how can I blame him for how he behaved when still not certain?

    But once he knew that he was in love with her, especially after he had sex with her, then yes, he should have told me right away, like we had discussed. And not have gone MIA, not have said he would phone me to discuss the matters and then sending a text saying he was too tired, not have gone MIA for some time still again, not have lied to me that his intention was then to stay with his wife #3, etc. etc.

    And, as I said above, I do begrudge him not taking steps that would prevent him from falling in love with her. For instance, he didn’t have to ask her for her phone number.

    But did you ever see signs that he was pulling away?

    That’s what I wrote about. I interpreted them as “infatuation and passion giving way to love.” One can’t expect roses and boxes of chocolates in the mature stage of the relationship on par with what it was in the wooing stage.

    One big flag to me was that right after he met her one month after my birthday, his tone of voice changed.

    True, there was nothing for us to talk about long before that, but his tone and intonation remained the same.

    This time, his tone was just like my girlfriend’s when she was done with her ex who still kept phoning her. The tone was totally lifeless, emotionless and I could feel that I was somehow annoying him only I couldn’t understand why. And then one more month later he went MIA after he had sex with her. But that was the only sign. His voice and tone.

    The ‘revving things up’ seems more like an admission of guilt than his wanting to keep the relationship going strong.

    Doesn’t line up chronologically.

    He met her one month before he had sex with her and went MIA (end of Year 6 of the relationship).

    His “revving things up” started after the relationship marked Year 3 and lasted for about two and a half years. In the first half of Year 3, we communicated only in writing (on my initiative) and in the fall of Year 3, after my complete silence and his touching letter, he arranged his long-term business trip into this country lasting several months. And after that he came one more time for one more half a year, and added my phone account to his banking account, started phoning me no matter whether his wife was at home or not, etc. etc. I wrote about it already.

    Your #1 and #2 might not have told you that they would divorced, but why is it that you believed #3?

    #1 wasn’t married, he “had a partner.”

    Will all of them, I assumed (my fault, I know) that even if they might have had partners when we met, the right and logical thing for them to do would be to talk to them and dump them for me.

    (This was sort of a red flag for me with my ex because he talked to his wife only after we had sex on his second business trip and not after he realised he was in love with me or after we said I love you on the phone. But he retorted, “But I did talk to her, didn’t I?” What could I say in response? He did talk to her.)

    But with #1, it was all so short and he went MIA so quickly that I didn’t have time to grill him about his “partner.”

    That is why when time passed and #2 was not doing anything about his wife, I raised the question. He mumbled something about “I know I’ll have to make decision, why don’t you go to your home country, come safely back, and we’ll see?”

    Shortly after my return, I met my ex who seemed so much more promising than #2 who wasn’t deciding anything. In parallel, #2 wasn’t doing anything for two months after my return, and my love and communication with my ex (= #3) were growing exponentially, so it was only natural that I left #2 for #3, went from one married guy to another.

    It was a terrible time when I was in limbo loving both simultaneously for two months and feeling guilt for leaving #2 (yes!). Don’t wish this experience upon anybody.

    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.

    Would you mind quoting? I can then search for the context.

    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.

    The fact is that she didn’t like me at the very same time I didn’t like her. She said so herself in a rare moment of us trying to logically unwrap why we didn’t like each other so much.

    There was no reason for it at all. I go towards a table that is being adorned by many people with dishes and flowers. One lady starts walking towards me. I have never met her before, but immediately I know that I dislike her immensely.

    She said it was the very same way for her.

    That is why I talk about “unlove at first sight.” Simultaneously for both.

    As far as “taking on the emotions of others,” can it be again the issue of like attracts like? You see how often conflicted I am, seeing both sides’ arguments, often finding myself in agree-to-disagree situations, overthinking, etc. etc. It seems that all the men I am attracted to are just like me at that stage in their lives. On the one hand, they are tired of the way they have lived until now, on the other, they don’t know how to proceed now that kids are grown and out of the house or life has changed, they are promoted or they realise they are no longer attracted to their wives or vice versa or something else – who knows what makes anyone of us suddenly stop and reevaluate where we are? Kind of “can’t live the life the way I have lived it until now, but don’t know what to do, what to aspire to and how to proceed and where to go.” And here I am, also not sure about what is right or wrong, what is black and what is white, but knowing that I want them for my own so they have to make a choice, a leap of faith. Naturally, they are afraid, there former life now feels so familiar and cozy in the face of the pull to me and the unknown, that they stall in place.

    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?

    GL, question: what made you think that these were grudges? Or that those events were of unpleasant nature? I really wonder what preset and biased picture of me you have in your mind?

    I was referring to things like the smell of the grass after the warm summer rain in the countryside; the expectation of presents under the Christmas tree; the excitement of being in a tree house; the glee of knowing that the school year is over and you have the entire summer holiday ahead of you…

    As for grudges, I can totally understand where people may be coming from. With time, memory loses its hold, and I can no longer remember the particularities of the occurrence, but I do remember how I felt and that, say, that person needs to be avoided. But I don’t dwell on it, all those memories and details having been replaced with other ones long ago.

    If that answers your question.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    #306515

    X
    Participant

    * Didn’t update under “Topics.”

Viewing 9 posts - 76 through 84 (of 84 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.