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  1. Beth
    July 11, 2017

    I am currently caught in the pursuer and distance dance with my partner and we are working through it. I am the one that feels forgotten and disconnected. I suffer with anxiety and the need for reassurance then became just as you said, attacking and critical, all of which causes him to withdraw more. Now it has reached a pleading clinginess. The anxiety I feel at being ‘abandoned’ is intense. It is a very sad place to be and I hate that we are here in this awful cycle. I hope we can stop it. My plan is to find outside activities to occupy my mind, rather than worry and also as he suggested that we do more fun activities together instead of my heavy discussions and over analyzing each relationship hurt that I have caused him that needs repair. I think a big piece of the healing is trusting that your partner loves you and wants the relationship. Thank you for your insight and wisdom Brenda.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 11, 2017

      Do you have connecting rituals like greeting each other at the door or kissing and holding each other before falling asleep? These help ground us in the moment and create connection. I hope that he reaches out to you and shows a willingness to comfort you. That will make it easier for you to ease up on the ‘neediness’. It is a sad and lonely place to be. I know. I’ve been there. Finding other secure and consistent friendships or family ties can help ease that anxiety. Pay close attention to whom you feel at home with, and spend more time with them. Long term relationships take care and nurturing. I hope you can both figure out ways to comfort each other. If you can get to a place where you can laugh about or tease each other about your needs, that would be a soothing relief too. 🙂 Best of luck Beth!

      Reply
    • Michael
      July 14, 2017

      Beth, I hope you don’t mind my two bits’ worth on this.

      The heavy discussions aren’t what men are wired for. We can do that, but only for so long.

      I’ve had a relationship where that was always, it seemed, where she wanted to go when we talked. Mostly, it seemed, talks about me, what I did, what I didn’t do. She favored talking about my perceived problems and issues. And it all caused me to pull back, time and again. And she never could seem to get that, even though I explained it over and over again.

      What we rarely did, was laugh. I mean just a relaxed, happy, ‘from way down in there’ laugh. About anything. Everything. Instead, it was always so serious, and so devoid of laughter, I just couldn’t take it any more.

      I hope you can find that laughter — within you, first. And if you find it within you, you’ll find with him, too.

      I saw a quote about a year ago, that captured what, for me at 61, is what I seek — not just with a woman, but with anyone in my life: ‘I want a serious relationship with someone I can laugh with for the rest of my life.’

      Life has serious stuff, of course. Laughter is critical to getting through it. Any friendship that is heavy and serious, and is devoid of laughter … will die. Laughter is life-giving. It breathes joy into us, it girds us for whatever is to come — and there’s always stuff coming. We can laugh our way through a great deal; we can ‘serious’ our way through only so much, and then we are done.

      Let us find laughter, share it, bring it to others, and most importantly, have it within us, whatever life brings us. And that, I think, is a life worth living, and a life worth sharing.

      Reply
  2. Gold Rhino
    July 9, 2017

    The rise of MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) offers an avenue to avoid the dialy difficulties of intimate relationships, and allows men to rise to higher levels in both their vocations and avocations.. MGTOW is great for heterosexual men who might want to date occasionally, but have no desire to be stripped of their homes,
    half (or more) of their wealth, and forced to pay alimony, and/or child support once their women decide they aren’t getting enough attention,

    MGTOW reports of horror stories affecting married men are available on Youtube, but get little attention elsewhere. Strategies for avoiding dishonest claims of spousal abuse and rape are also discussed.

    In some states in the USA, a man who cohbits with his girlfriend for more than six months may lose up to half his wealth. MGTOW is not mysoginistic, but opposes state legal and family court systems that assume all men earn more money than women do.

    Anyone who has had more than two unhappy relationships ought to check out MGTOW as the answer to the downward mobility that relatioships almost always bring.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 11, 2017

      Wow. MGTOW sounds like a group of men who are afraid to reach out and risk the possibility of a loving and supportive relationship because they have been hurt in previous relationships. I can understand where the loss of someone’s wealth would affect them emotionally, but to spend energy actively fighting the desire to connect deeply with a partner seems like a recipe for unhappiness and loneliness.
      Gaining admiration in your vocations and avocations is great but not as awesome as it is to do that within a caring relationship. Interdependence is the ideal in my book and in many studies.
      Thanks for sharing your perspective GR, always interesting.

      Reply
      • Michael
        July 11, 2017

        If you lose most of what you’ve earned, and perhaps even a second time, in divorce, there comes some caution, at the least.

        The truth is — in a lot of cases — that the wife gives up a great deal to take care of home and family. She cannot ‘make up for’ those years, should the divorce happen in her 50s or 60s. I continue to pay my first my quite a bit, and will for another 18 months, and over the course of the 8 years, she will have gotten, by far, the lion’s share of what we had, and what I’ve earned in those 8 years.

        There are a lot of aspects to this, and no simple formulas to do it right or fairly. It’s messy. And the undermining of families over the last few decades has been severe.

        If I could go back, would I stay married? I’ve thought about it many times.

        Difficult stuff. In many ways. I can understand the motivations behind MGTOW. You get crushed financially, and you go … man, this relationship stuff ain’t worth it!

        Again, not easy issues.

        Reply
  3. Michael
    July 8, 2017

    a part of it all that is quite different now, is the texting and emailing — i.e., instant communication. it gets sort of crazy.

    in ‘the old days’ — not that long ago, really — the guy / gal went to work. and worked. maybe you touched bases once during the day. you didn’t go berserk because you sent a text, and you didn’t get a response in 5 minutes. expectations were much different. and much easier.

    texting, emailing — my god, it becomes a joke. like sticking a pacifier in a crying baby’s mouth. okay, okay, text text text. email. email. reassure. contact. etc. A lot of it is childish, really.

    ‘I texted you, and you didn’t respond in 5 minutes.’ yeah, so what? i mean, seriously. are we really that needy now? since we CAN contact someone 24 hours a day, do we really HAVE to do that, and HAVE to get this constant response?

    what’s happened to us?

    i swear Facebook appeals to the lowest part of our natures. this craving / need for immediately feedback. how many likes do you get? how many comments? what if someone doesn’t like it? etc etc etc.

    It’s like we’re addicted — seriously addicted — to this constant ‘rush’ of being responded to, ‘liked,’ noticed, contacted. not healthy stuff. not normal. or maybe normal now. but not healthy.

    there are some serious problems with this stuff. we are not better for it in our relationships.

    michael

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      July 11, 2017

      I agree the need to be pacified or seen constantly on social media or through texting is over the top at times. I don’t think there is anything wrong with touching base throughout the day at a comfortable level of contact for both parties. If we are texting someone constantly because we feel insecure, we may want to check ourselves and see what is behind this need for constant reassurance and then work it out in person with our loved one. I’m always up for more in person contact versus the technology based kind. I think the main thing is to be considerate and in tune with your partner about how much contact they need/want. If your expectations are dramatically different, maybe there is a problem to be worked out or walked away from.
      Thanks Michael for your input. 🙂

      Reply
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