Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 07:37 am
I am depressed and feel trapped in my life. I am the only relative of two aging parents who are in good health. I have a chronic illness but have managed it very well and live normally. I live independently of my parents, but my parents have been my support network for several years. If my illness acts up, they help me. They are my only support network even when others who claim to be my friends have abandoned me at times of need. My parents are lovely people, but are very negative and my mother can be controlling to the degree that she is trying to protect me so I don't get ill again. When I bring a woman, with whom I am serious, to meet them, I do it not to gain approval, but in a way to get their sense of is this person going to be supportive of me in the ways that I need. Every woman I have brought home has been in love with me and me with her. Over the years, they have rejected every single woman I have brought to meet them and every relationship has subsequently failed due to obvious tension between the woman and my family. I don't know if it because my parents feel threatened or because they are negative or because I'm bringing home the wrong type of person (possibly the type they think would be good for me doesn't exist?). At any rate, I'm in my early 40s. With so many failed relationships, I wonder if I should just give up on finding anyone. The thought has led to almost paralyzing depression. What do you recommend?
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 07:48 am
@jim 1968,
Don't blindside your girlfriends.

Instead, only bring them around to meet your folks if it is marriage/living together level serious. And before you bring them over, tell them that your folks are difficult. And do your best to not let the strain kill your relationship.

And break it to your parents that they will not live forever and you'd appreciate it if they would be less hostile to your expected future support system.
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:22 am
@jespah,
Thanks for the advice. I try to hold off until it is quite serious--like six to nine months into a relationship. I've always told the women what my parents are like; however, the women always end up wanting me to take sides. I point out that what's the point--we will outlast my parents, so why cause a huge rift...just live with it as best we can. But, the women don't see it that way: they are as strong-willed as my mother in her way. So, I wonder if I should just hold off on a serious relationship until after my parents are gone. I'm in my 40s, at my age, I'm probably not going to get involved with a woman who can have kids so the only thing left is companionship in my 50s and beyond. Kind of why I'm currently involved with the older woman (other post)--knowing it will not go anywhere. She tries to get me to express an emotion and I refuse. Your thoughts?
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:28 am
@jim 1968,
Well, here's the thing.

Your primary relationship as an adult should be with your partner, not your parents. You've consistently described parents who are not supportive of your relationships - and they should be doing that. They should be encouraging you in your relationships. If they can't do that, you have to consider why you are allowing your parents to continue to manage your relationships.

That you've become depressed is not a surprise.

Sometimes there are parent/child relationships that don't progress to adult/adult relationships and sometimes people need help getting to that point. You may need some one-on-one counselling/support to get there - and to deal with the depression you're experiencing. If you've got coverage for any counselling support from work, consider at least having one session.

And maybe, maybe, in the meantime - realize and accept that there is no point in introducing women to your parents. Keep them away from the negativity. There's no upside to it.

It could result in better relationships for you - and perhaps a relationship with a woman who will be your primary emotional support in times of illness.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:30 am
@jim 1968,
jim 1968 wrote:
the women always end up wanting me to take sides.


yup

that's how it should be

partners should be partners and take care of each other

__

if you want to stay involved with your parents, keep them away from your friends and potential partners
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:32 am
@jim 1968,
jim 1968 wrote:
But, the women don't see it that way


also - keep in mind - if any of the women are religious (particularly Christian) they will know that the bible tells husbands/wives to choose each other over their parents

it's what a lot of people raised in Western cultures have been taught - and believe
jim 1968
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:52 am
@ehBeth,
You are absolutely right. I'm not introducing them to anyone again. It is unfortunate, but that is the way it is. There is so much more to my life story, but this is not the place to say it all. I will seek counseling through work. Thanks!
0 Replies
 
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 08:58 am
@ehBeth,
To be completely honest, my mother hates most women. She is also openly pleased that I will likely not have children because of my age (she says that the world doesn't need anymore children) and that she does not want grandchildren.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 09:10 am
@jim 1968,
I'm curious why a man in his early 40's thinks he won't be a parent. If you do not plan to become a biological parent, have you thought of fostering/adopting?

It's also possible you could become a step-parent in the future.

Are you at all interested in parenting?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 09:14 am
@jim 1968,
Gotta wonder why you've been introducing women to your mother - who hates most women.

Sounds like you've been doing a wee bit of sabotage there.
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 09:21 am
@ehBeth,
Me: 45, never married, financially stable, work out 7 days a week (very defined). On the outside, I'm great. I am told that I am very personable, funny, good looking, etc. On the inside, I'm very depressed and see no future. In fact, the original purpose of going to the gym was not to get buff, but to fight off depression. Obviously I am very depressed that I've become buff as a result. Now that I am out of a relationship, my social life consists of going to my folks house, going to the gym, doing work, and sleeping. Just getting to the end of a day is a pleasure....so, how I could I see children in my future when I see no future?
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 09:27 am
@ehBeth,
Maybe hoping against hope that she might like one of them. I think it was originally with hope that I could have a family like my parents had--namely, grandparents and parents and children together, helping each other. That was a happy time in my youth; but I think I just have ignored the reality that as every year goes by, my mother and father become more and more negative. I was immature in thinking that this would ever change.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 10:05 am
@jim 1968,
Does your community have Meet-ups? are there any running groups you could join? are there opportunities in your community to mentor younger people in their fitness goals - coach a kid/team?

I've personally found it helpful to make sure there's a social component to my fitness plan. Some of the activities I'm involved in require me to be part of a group - i.e. team/competitive troupe. If I didn't pay attention to that, I'd only swim and never interact with others during my fitness time.
jim 1968
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 11:33 am
@ehBeth,
Good ideas. Thank you. I can't run due to my health, so that's out. But, I have made a few good moves into the community. Joined a social club last month. And, your advice here kick started me to look for community volunteer activities. So, I volunteered to be a tour guide at the provincial legislature--that would be four hours a week. I started thinking of the movie Groundhog Day...and I realized that if I think of others more often, then I will have less time to think/mope about my own life. Also, it will mean a little less time with my folks, but that's a good thing...I will form some new social networks. If this goes well, then I will volunteer for something else. Thank you ehBeth Smile

And to answer your earlier question...well, who is going to marry a guy in his early 40's and have a child with him? The woman would be much younger than me and I doubt she'd find an older man desirable, right? Would I be a good parent? I'd be a GREAT father. The kid's education is already paid for. All he/she would have to do is to study hard and not think about the cost. And, I've got polymath characteristics...I could tutor the kid(s) on everything from English to History to Government to Advanced Math/Science and beyond. Frankly, it is a waste to have a guy like me sitting around alone for the rest of his life not being in a relationship with a child.
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 11:47 am
@jim 1968,
should read "and not being a relationship which involves a wife and a child." What I said before was correct in syntax, but could be misinterpreted.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 01:51 pm
@jim 1968,
jim 1968 wrote:
And to answer your earlier question...well, who is going to marry a guy in his early 40's and have a child with him?


perhaps it's the circles I'm in and the neighbourhood I live in ... but I see quite a few couples with women in their mid to late 30's and men 5 - 10 years older - pushing strollers around the neighbourhood. it seems to be a bit of a 'thing'

a guy I have known for about <ack> 40 years is on his second round of being a stepfather and loving it. The first set of kids (his second wife's children) are in their mid 20's now. The second set of kids (his current partner's children) are in their teens. One of the young men from his first set of stepkids lives with him more than he does with either of parents. He's a really great stepdad.

there are a lot of ways to parent if it's something we crave
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 01:53 pm
@jim 1968,
Sounds like you've made a great start at having more interests in your life that will leave you less time to stew/worry.

Keep on with that.




* running club wasn't meant to be entirely literal - just an example of a way to be social and active
jim 1968
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2015 06:32 am
@ehBeth,
The last week has been good. First thing I noticed was that I have to keep my drinking to one or two a week. I was having a glass wine with dinner every night: I saw a connection between alcohol and depression, even though my drinking was minimal. Second thing was good fortune: I find that returning to places where I had been with my ex-gf and forming new happy memories is important. So, when I was in NYC last week, I made it a point of going to a concert at Lincoln Center by myself. Just a few months earlier, I had been there with my ex-gf and her parents. At that time, I knew that things were coming to an end. So, when I returned by myself last week...it was a like going to a movie set, but I was making my own memories, happy memories. It was a wonderful concert and I felt so much better after that because I was taking charge of my own thoughts and feelings.

In terms of finding anyone. I realize that I shouldn't spend time looking for a relationship. If something comes along, then great. Otherwise, just live my life. Why continue to try when so many relationships have failed thus far, due to parental sabotage or due to my own poor choices in choosing mates? Some things I am just not very good at doing; a lasting relationship appears to be one of them Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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