Author Topic: Relationship  (Read 888 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2019, 03:36:57 PM »
Thanks, Amber.
I definitely look forward to lovemaking, no doubt about it.
All systems still "go."

My hesitation (ironically similar to with previous bf, "B") is his race against my own pace. I have a deeply ingrained sense of complete and full body autonomy, anxiety about being possessed, and when I'm pressured to speed it up, I react perhaps unfortunately like a human mule who will not go where you want for either carrots or sticks.

After so many years celibate, if someone displays impatience or annoyance, there is literally no bigger turnoff for me. Frankly, I'd be happier doing what I did when young, with no-stringers strangers. If someone GENUINELY wants a joyous couple of decades with me? Then they can spend a leisurely buncha months showing me their patience, their love, etc. Without pressuring me, copping feels, talking nonstop about how urgent their desire is, etc.

M. is trying. His anxiety isn't "normal" male performance anxiety. He is in fact very virile in energy and desire. But he had a prostatectomy, which means that he has to inject himself to perform. As time (age) goes by, medically the results of the injects are a bit less certain (so his two year wait is intense for him). I sympathize with this, and have given serious thought to just lying back and thinking of England (apologies to Tupp) in order to make him happy. I am capable. Yet another part of me resists the sacrificial cliche.

I don't even think sex is our biggest worry. It's the other emotional stuff. For now, I'd like to focus on relaxation. I'm meeting him at his pool shortly and want to talk about throttling back the anxiety as best we both can and valuing our other ways of connecting. We love talking, going places, interacting with Pooch. We really are quite compatible in a lot of the ways that could sustain a good connection.

Even privilege and paternalism. He is profoundly intellectual and into the challenge of ideas. He has responded with respect when I challenge his assumptions or lack of notice (or false equivalence, which he tried on me once). He loves debate and (sigh) though I enjoy the thinking and some degree of persuasion, I don't savor it for its own sake. I told him it felt like Greek wrestling and I hate combat. But intellectually, I can hold my own.

So we'll see. I'm going to invite him to take it one day at a time. He has emotional immaturity that it's his own job to work on, not mine. But I will take care of myself, retreat all I care to, and stop taking the bait when he demands that I recognize this or that. I don't respond to demands. Full stop.

My question within is, once he really grasps the depth of my autonomy, will he actually be able to handle it? Or will he retreat into resentment, snarky comments, or some other form of resistance or (god forbid) revenge? This man has been very powerful in his own sphere for a very long time. One wife left him, and the next was perhaps comfortable in a more traditional position (I don't know). I am a different kettle of fish and I think difficult as well as exciting to him.

So this is a very good time to observe, interact honestly, and protect my independence as powerfully as I need to. I have no doubt that I must and for now, I hope that being kind and listening will move things into a better place. Even if it does, I will push back when he immediately makes a new pronouncement that "all is resolved" and pushes forward into more definitions, proclamations, and declarations of what is true for "us." M needs to learn to speak about himself and for himself, and let go of his habit of declaring what "we" are or what "we" feel. His verbal torrents are both his shield and sword. My hope is he can exit conquest or battle mode.

As we all do, he just assumes everything from his own worldview, which apparently has seldom been intimately challenged. In academia, he has been ruthlessly competitive. If he brings that to us, he will find himself trying to "win" alone.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2019, 08:16:14 PM »
This is tough.
I love how you are handling it, Hopsie.

CB
When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails.  Elizabeth Edwards 2010

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #107 on: June 23, 2019, 08:42:46 AM »
Hear hear on maintaining your independence and autonomy Hops! It's most difficult to do, IMO, within the construct of marriage -- UNLESS one starts to adapt the definition of what marriage is; and revamps the old engrained roles. We all have our dreams, conditioning, white picket fence syndrome about how it's "supposed" to be, to deal with.

But it sounds like you've carefully chosen a path through the most difficult things you may encounter on this "getting to know you" journey. Assuming no one wants to go back over that section of trail again, it should get easier.

I have an old old friend; just realized that our friendship - varying degrees of closeness through the years - will be 50 years old next year. Her longtime live-in guy just moved out at her request. He has some health issues and went through personality changes along with the cancer and it's treatment. She had just had enough. I've thrown an urgent invitation out to her, that if she feels a need to escape the mundane and ordinary... she can head my way for woods & studio & girl time.

It sounds like she's designed a way for her to remain single and independent, while being a doting gramma... and I'd like to spend time picking through her brain for how she arrived at that decision. We're so similar, we might as well be twin sisters - she was born a week after me, in the same hospital. The big joke is that maybe we were switched at birth, too. LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #108 on: June 23, 2019, 03:38:20 PM »
Your friend is lucky to have you, Amber.
We're lucky to have you HERE.

I think one piece that's difficult for me to acknowledge to myself is this: Despite having deep clarity that I am the opposite of a gold-digger, the breezy (economically) future M has dandled in front of me is still kind of torture.

Were I to ferociously guard every scrap of my independence (as I've been doing lately), we'd probably wind up breaking up. And then my real and quite daunting fears of winding up alone in some awful Medicaid nursing home will return. With zero family in my life, I truly believe that I will be in that kind of circumstance. ALL of my friends (except Tupp) have some kind of family support. My friends are aging too, and it's too late to construct some phamily that involves shared living, a shared live-in caregiver, or whatever. The people I know who are interested already have gotten shares in the cheapest co-housing community here that is out of my reach. Or they will move to live near children, or pick an assisted living setup, etc. This is an extremely affluent community with a very thin middle class.

And it really does scare me, given that I work with oldsters who all can afford a relatively middle-ground but still pleasant assisted living situation, either on their own or with family help.

So I am ruthless about trying to hold a boundary in my head about all that as I deal with my feelings for M. I do genuinely love him, but he's also challenging in all the ways I've been talking about. The other side of his "drive to conquer" is true sweetness and vulnerability. He's not a monster, he's just clueless and 70 years of extreme privilege have given him some big blind spots. He has a childish belief in his capacity to manage/decide/fix/improve everything. Life in a golden bubble does that.

Still...I am worried about sorting it all out with deep scruple about how much the say-goodbye-to-fear-of-poverty piece will affect my judgment. Now or later.

I'm ALWAYS in touch with how I feel (happy, sad, threatened, calm). But I worry whether I'm a bad person, still. Whether I'm hiding from myself some piece of "but he is rich" attraction. It's pathetic.

I'm working on that piece, hard. He has NEVER manipulated me with anything related to money. Just offers me everything. No hints of "women are gold diggers" like many older men I've met. Not a word about "you want XX from me". Nothing. (I've made it pretty obvious that I don'.t) But then again, he's still in romantic pursuit mode.

Must hie me to the Goodwill for two new Tshirts.

xxxooo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #109 on: June 23, 2019, 08:31:59 PM »
Amazingly, we just had a wonderful few hours again.
I went to swim with him, got there full of anguish over politics,
vented about it and was crabby and critical of his Knowitall Professoritis....
and then just relaxed a bit and enjoyed some affectionate banter again.

Somehow, having evaded his management of everything (he didn't know
I was coming so I surprised him), I got back into balance.

I just told him that I'm worrying about a lot of things,
and he (in his fashion) actually heard most of it, and responded
with such determined commitment that I softened a bit.

We're in a better place. He rushed to declare that everything was
perfect again, so I peed on the fire hydrant ("No, I guarantee we will
each be disappointed in the other again") and he responded as though
I was the Oracle of Delphi and proclaimed that I am "teaching him things."

I got to just laughing and not taking him so deadly seriously (his nonstop
narratives are nearly compulsive and truly part of who he is, so I need to
deal realistically with his scholarly reality). But I made headway and we
didn't argue.

I even taught him the active listening formula, and the difference between
a true "I statement" versus the "I feel that YOU...." stuff.

I feel better. We haven't lost hope. I told him truthfully that I've stepped
back a few paces and need a reboot, and he reaffirmed that he's all in but
didn't keep arguing with my reality. What a relief.

I think we need swimming pools.

xxoo
Hops

"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #110 on: Today at 01:08:55 AM »
PS  We also talked about the money stuff. I told him it most definitely is one of my future worries, but it is also extremely important to me that I maintain my values and character and not get confused about it. He said he was very surprised that I'd mentioned early on that if we wound up together it was critical that he have a pre-nup. (I'd told him it was because I was affected by the paranoia of some other affluent men I'd met re. gold-digging women, and also because if his family is going to feel good, they have to KNOW that things are clear.) He's going, oh that's totally unecessary, I'm still taking care of my mother's retired housekeeper etc (which I know he is, and through a lot of other-country bureaucracy). I do not abandon people.

I believe him. But I said you need to take care of your kids' and grandkids' futures, and he said, I can. So I said I can tell you right now what I'd ask for: If you should predecease me which you're not allowed to do, I would like enough money to fix up my little house plus enough for a decent care place if I needed it one day. He suggested a staggering amount and that shut me up.

I think he really is not worried about all that. So I feel less so. If we get our communication in gear (oh god, please teach him "I messages") ... we might be ok.

He's seeing his new T tomorrow. Please send him light! He'll love it, getting to talk nonstop for 90 minutes.

Whewwww,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #111 on: Today at 01:14:43 AM »
CB,
It is so amazing to hear your voice here again.

It's like somebody opened a window and the oxygen just poured in, plus sunlight and lots of flower fragrances!

Thanks for the support. Can't wait to offer it back.

xxoo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #112 on: Today at 05:44:38 AM »
Hops, I just want to say that I think your fear of ending up alone in some grotty care home is, unfortunately, a reality that many people have to face and is therefore not anything you should feel bad about fearing.  Nor do I think wanting to achieve a comfortable later stage life is the same as gold digging or just doing that 'hands in the air, look after me' thing that so many of us have fought hard against throughout our lives.

I think it's balance, as always, and you know yourself well and know what you can and can't sacrifice.  You won't throw aside every principle you have to secure a comfortable retirement; you know that and so do we.  But if it gets to the point where life with M can be a bit testing but is on the whole good and you can cope if you get a long weekend to yourself each month then I think that's okay.  Sometimes a picture perfect life doesn't match with reality and the drop between our ideal and then what we really get can be huge.  So finding a place in between the two is okay, in my opinion.

I hope that you are able to find a path through with him.  The good bits sound very good and it may well be that the mad bits are more to do with the grief (which presumably will ease in time) and maybe just even getting used to being with a woman who doesn't think he's amazing because he can throw a bit of cash around - maybe he's going to have to work at impressing you in other ways and he's not used to it.  Either way I'm sure you will keep your head and make sensible choices and it would be nice if there is a happy ending to this but equally we all know you will put the brakes on if need be xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #113 on: Today at 08:25:39 AM »
So GOOD... that rough patch was navigated delicately and successfully. Onwards!

(Had an odd idea that might help with the sex thing... I wonder if he could completely give you control over taking the initiative? That might work well for breaking the ice. Maybe it's a dumb idea, but I didn't know if you'd considered it.)
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.