Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 08:57 am
Hate the holidays. I remember what was happening last year at this time. Thanksgiving was the beginning of the end of my last long term relationship...an ending that took six months to fully come to a painful end. It has been over a half year since it ended. I think less about my ex. After my ex ended our relationship (because she didn't like my family), I had an affair with an older woman who tried to boost my ego. There are other women in their 30's, 40's and 50's who are interested in knowing me, which is nice but I don't seem to want to allow anything to develop. I remain very guarded. Lesson learned: never take another woman home to visit your aging parents (parents who think that 1950s era type women are ideal and are in plentiful supply). In other words, if you (Jim) want a relationship, you have to live a double life...time with aging parents and time with love interest. Do I have the time for all that? Do I really want to develop another ulcer? Do I really want to have another failed relationship where my heart gets torn out? Or, is it easier to just be lonely, healthy, and productive at work and live until I eventually die (I'm thinking 30 years left...what's the point of getting seriously involved again?) Happy Holidays Smile
 
jespah
 
  5  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 09:27 am
@jim 1968,
I urge you to get counseling. Talk to your doctor about treatment for depression.

I ain't kidding. Life is nowhere near as all or nothing as you are painting it to be.
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 10:17 am
@jespah,
I've thought about counseling. I don't want anyone to shovel pills my way as a solution to this; that's my main concern.

The things that I deal with are, no surprise, issues that go back to childhood--a childhood that was as wonderful as it was horrible (two extremes existing simultaneously). In nearly 30 years of dating, I have never had a relationship that lasted more than two years. I have never been engaged. My family is "closed" to outsiders and has become more "closed" as time goes on. If my family rejects a love interest, I am told not to bring that person around again and I am berated for seeing that person until eventually it effects the quality and continuation of the relationship. It becomes a choice between my family and my private life. For reasons that go back to childhood, it is emotionally paralyzing and causes me serious physical illness (like trips to the hospital emergency room) when contemplating the loss of or disconnection from family.

You would not believe it, but if you saw me you'd see a guy who is buff, handsome, smart and successful. You'd never guess.

Thanks for your advice.
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 10:38 am
@jim 1968,
Counseling does not have to lead to drug therapy. Tell the counselor you don't want that. You're a competent individual and have control over your medical future.

As for me thinking a buff, handsome, etc. guy is together? Heh, shrug.

Appearances are deceiving.

Get some counseling and determine why you, a grown man, are still so hung up on your parents' approval.
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 02:39 pm
@jespah,
Thank you for your advice. I will follow up on this. It isn't parental approval. It is much deeper than something so trivial. It is a clear statement to me of all or nothing. Pursue a woman we don't like (and they have never liked one they met), then we withhold our love for you. It is one parent more than the other. I am berated; I am reminded of what has been done for me, etc. These people are the only people I have in the world and are the people who saved my life when I was a child and later as an adult when I became very ill. I feel an overwhelming responsibility for their welfare. If I choose the path of a relationship over family (choice above), then when/if the relationship falters, I have shown my disloyalty and may have lost my only friends and family. The emotions that are evoked by such a scenario are so powerful, it taps into deep emotional scars from childhood, and all sense of reason is lost. I become emotionally paralyzed, physically ill, and depressed.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 02:49 pm
@jim 1968,
You're an adult.

I think it's time for you to take responsibility for yourself and your own happiness.

The description you've provided several times of your family is not of people who love and care for you. You describe very manipulative people who do not care for you.

Time to get that counselling support you have likely needed for years.

and yeah, appearances have nothing to do with determining how together people are
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 02:51 pm
@jim 1968,
Have you kept up with your volunteer work?

Continued to control your drinking?
jim 1968
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 05:52 pm
@ehBeth,
I don't drink at all. Yep, doing my volunteer work. I take responsibility and no longer bring women to meet my parents or talk about them. I will keep my world's separate. Increasingly, I am very leery of allowing myself to open up to a woman. Just play it cool and have a nice time. Many times, I don't call them back or try to make something out of something that it will never be. I no longer make an effort to gain their approval or flirt. I'm just being in the moment, just being pleasant. I take on work assignments that put me at risk of great harm, but that's just my way of saying--if I'm taken out, that's fine: just as long as it is quick. I have already accomplished my goals in life, and some goals appear to be out of my reach. I think that might be the ultimate example of taking responsibility for oneself. Thanks for your sincere and kind advice.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 09:29 pm
@jim 1968,
I'm glad to hear you kept up with the volunteer work. I think that's a really good step.

Do consider getting a referral from your family doc for someone to speak with about your family dynamics. You need someone who's on your side.

the holidays? they're what you make of them. My mother loved celebrations so I kept up with them while she was alive. I'm not really into big festive meals and sports on tv.
jim 1968
 
  2  
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2015 01:13 pm
@ehBeth,
Thanks for your up-beat comments, ehBeth! You are a nice person.

It was a nice holiday with my family, as it turned out. There was no tension this year. They are finally doing what I asked: namely, never bring up my ex-gf again in conversation.

I have met some nice women in the last few months, but nothing special. Just nice women with whom to share lunch, dinner, a drink, and conversation. There seems to be a lot of lonely, 30 and 40 something professional single women who are "schizophrenic"--trying to figure out the role of a relationship and the role of work. These are the high achievers who wonder if slowing down to have a relationship/family is a betrayal to their mental acuity. Anyway, that is their problem...it doesn't mean I can't enjoy their cerebral abilities in conversation, and many of them are kind of cute, too Smile

I will talk to my workplace counseling center, which is part of my benefits package. Is that a good option? I think that the holidays are a busy time for counselors, right? Anyway, I'll talk to them.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2015 04:34 pm
@jim 1968,
I am not seeing what the problem is, a lot of people go through the end of their life determined not to have a serious committed relationship but are none the less able to have a lot of fun as well as suitable relationships of conveyance. Especially if you have money to blow on the project this should be easy as long as you are not a social doofus. So this can be done, but for some reason you dont want to do it. And it has nothing to do with your devotion to your parents, that is clearly an excuse, because as you point out it is not that hard to keep your parents and your lover away from each other.

So what is it? You should figure that out.

Quote:
There seems to be a lot of lonely, 30 and 40 something professional single women who are "schizophrenic"--trying to figure out the role of a relationship and the role of work
There are a lot of highly successful, great in bed, great looking fun women in this age group who would love to find a guy worth their time to have fun with in a relationship that is less than "marriage". You could probably even find a great one to do a live in arrangement with if you wanted to. It sounds like you are a guy in a target rich environment who refuses to hunt, and who makes up excuses for why you dont. If you dont want to hunt then fine, but it sounds like you do. And if you dont do it you should at least be clear on why you dont, and you need to be OK with what ever that reason is.

I am with Beth, you really should figure this out while you are still young enough to do something else if you decide you want to, still can find the relationship with a woman or with women that really does make you happy.
0 Replies
 
donna downing
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2015 09:54 am
@jim 1968,
I understand why you don't like thanksgiving holiday, what you experienced last year is still fresh in your mind. I'm sorry to hear about that by the way. Now, you should let that go, she left you because she didn't like your family then she is the one who has a problem. You're better off without her. Regarding your affairs, I understand that you only did it because you were vulnerable. I urge you to stop though because you shouldn't really just do that to boost your ego.

You overthink to much. You don't have to live a double life just to find love. All you need to do is be yourself. Someone out there is the right one for you. If your parents doesn't like her or vice versa then they all just have to live with it. Eventually they will all learn to love each other because they have something in common, which is you.
0 Replies
 
 

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