Author Topic: Relationship/s  (Read 20021 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #660 on: November 21, 2020, 03:49:48 PM »
Non-sequitor comment.

Other people fantasize too. Maybe even more than I do. Some people don't know the difference between a fantasy and believing they can make it come true -- as if the other person involved doesn't have any thoughts, feelings or life outside of person A's fantasy. LOLOL.

It's not really funny; I see this a lot more than I used to. But I've learned that my fantasies are just that; when they come up I let them play out... and then take from it, what I "hear" in it that might be a clue to what I really desire. And then I push the off button and go back to dealing with reality again. Filing away what the fantasy might be telling me about my wants (and sometimes needs) for future reference.

In my case, I think my experience is weighted a lot more heavily toward the less pleasant things or work toward a result. So when I'm experiencing happy feelings, it's easy to let the fantasy machine wind up a new reel of images & sensations... letting the imagination build a whole world and life that only exists there. Eventually my inner critic chimes in - "AHEM!" and the dream bubble bursts and I get regrounded in my real life again. Or I'll start being self-conscious and feeling silly.

But I can't stress enough that there are clues to parts of ourselves embedded in those fantasies that can be REAL useful.
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Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #661 on: November 21, 2020, 05:32:43 PM »
Y'all are so normal.
And you understand entirely.

I don't mean to do some absolute thing about what fantasy means...it's just something I realized that, for me individually, was like a team of Clydesdales taking off with the beer wagon, never to be seen on this planet again.

OUT of control, in other words. So though daydreaming and fantasizing is fun, in my case it really can be delusional or dangerous to my well being.

Oddly, M just called me, all perky, just wanting to "catch up" -- and then talked about himself when I had nothing much to say. He hasn't called me in many months (our only connection was infrequent email), so maybe he's acting out his new "It's not over" declaration.

I just stayed neutral and let him ramble on and confirmed I'd be there Tgiving, and thanks very much for the cleaner referral. Dull stuff. On purpose.

I have zero idea what he's really thinking personally but actually think y'all pretty much understand both him and me. (As in, he must be driving toward what he wants again...and from your perception, Amber, it's just what M does.)

I'm calm today though I turned down a couple friendvites because I don't know how to not talk about something that's top of mind and painful if I'm with someone I'm close to, and that just gets me upset all over again. I need to let it rest a bit. I have clarity now and Lighter's charge to stay objective is very important.

So to keep the distress in calm mode (much of which was actually already relieved by my meltdown and crying the other day) I'm watching dumb diverting flicks, eating, and hoping to tidy the house tomorrow. It may be lazy but feels like what I needed.

hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 02:09:38 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #662 on: November 22, 2020, 02:12:44 AM »
Not lazy, Hops - self care :)  And as for tidying house - when I suffered very badly from depression and found even getting out of bed difficult, a therapist suggested I try to do something for ten minutes.  Not think about the whole job or the rest of the day, just set the timer for ten minutes and do what can be done in that time.  Whether that works with or against ADD I don't know but I thought I would mention just in case (obviously feel free to ignore :) ).

And I'm sorry to say I suspect M feels more comfortable when you are feeling vulnerable and/or not in control of the way that you feel.  I think you are right to focus on you, not him or what he is thinking/feeling just now.  Thanksgiving - yes.  Cleaner recommendation - yes.  But other than that - duvet - Pooch - TV remote.  I think that's what the doctor would order just now xx

lighter

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #663 on: November 22, 2020, 09:00:51 AM »
Yes yes yes, what Amber said, Hops.

Remember not to make bargains with yourself about taking, and feeling entitled to downtime.  Get every drop of self care from it.  Guilt sucketh the care and joy you might otherwise receive, more fully.... with greater benefit....

You know what I'm trying to say; )

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #664 on: November 22, 2020, 09:23:41 AM »
Guilt indeed sucketh all positivity out of life. Yet, I am aware of the reflex (especially for women) that when we end a relationship because it's not JUST not working for us - but is actually harming us - there's an outpouring of apologies, peace offerings of the "friend zone", and even casting ourselves into a negative light as "less than" and "not up to the task"... all to excuse and not wound the male ego. And that might be some programmed maternal instinct that gets all twisted up into something unrecognizable in romantic relationships.

Maybe it helps to take the male/female roles and "shoulds" out of the picture when thinking about things. If a girlfriend had treated you that way -- would you still feel obligated to offer them "something" as a "consolation prize"?

Sorry, if you're just done thinking about this for now, Hops. My fascination with the study of relationships might be counterproductive for you just now. (Those thoughts/observations keep evolving, so they'll be here if you want to return to it. I too, can beat dead horses.) I just had one of those intuitive flashes that you just don't have the energy right now to "think"; it's still too personal and triggering; and Tupp is right - you just need whatever works for you as comfort and self-care.

Make yourself a yummy, nutritious soup or stew today Hops. Weather is turning chillier and the sky is gloomy. Time for silly comedy movies, or maybe some epic adventure flick. Maybe Indiana Jones type? Or maybe watch something that was your favorite tv series way back when?? Roy Rogers for instance... just let yourself rest and your emotions rebalance... tomorrow is another day.
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Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #665 on: November 22, 2020, 10:30:57 AM »
Amber, how could you. Roy Rogers instead of Hopalong Cassidy?
Now I'm really upset. LOL.

Seriously, please don't do the I'm thinking something but not going to tell you thing. Every single time you make observations about mine or share things you've learned about your relationships I benefit from it, I truly do. Don't hold back!

I thought what you wrote about what women often do at the end of or during the decline of relationships was powerful. Read-again-and-ponder, powerful. Thank you. Something I wondered about. When you previously wrote that you might feel inclined to confrontation in a similar situation, did you mean verbally confront someone with exactly what you think they are doing, or with what you are feeling?

And Tupp, spot on again with this. Of course I can't prove it, and very likely it's entirely unconscious rather than Machiavellian on his part:
Quote
I suspect M feels more comfortable when you are feeling vulnerable and/or not in control
. I think it's be pretty natural for someone who only feels safe when he is in control, to start interacting more happily when the other is not.

Lighter, I'm going to need to concentrate to keep up the internal power and distance but I'm willing to try. It's difficult. Would be so nice if I could just safely pour out all the stuff. But I'll be calm and I hope in control of myself by Thurs.

Meanwhile, alla youse--thanks for the self-care reminders. Even tidying up can be part of that, because it does make me feel much much better. Not to mention it lifts self esteem because the old shame-tape can't get quite as loud. The normal thing I feel when I let it all get out of hand is global self-shaming. I know, I know!

Huge hugs,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #666 on: November 22, 2020, 04:41:41 PM »
Nope; not holding anything back Hops. But I do appreciate you might just need some time not pondering this topic; doing something else that might be a lot more fun. Or comforting. Or confidence-boosting. Or whatever!

Lemmee go see what I said about confrontation... ah, there it is.

My irish/scot/viking gets up in a BIG way these days, when I've already made myself as clear as clear can be... and then someone decides to tromp heavily right through what was meant to be taken as a boundary. The "look" comes over my face - my next words aren't going to be nice or diplomatic; typically this is the last warning for someone to back off... and if they persist, I will continue escalating anger and "command voice" until they back off, leave or I make them. ESPECIALLY when I've already expressed feeling vulnerable & triggered by something. I can back down again if the "look" elicits a quick - "my bad" or similar acknowledgement of their own behavior. But once I've gone to expressing myself, it's harder to shut down.

Oddly enough, it's not the Alpha-male types who push me to that place. It's usually the ones proclaiming their acceptance of feminism - as if that's their free ticket to just crash right in where they were told they didn't belong and didn't have a right to be. Maturity doesn't always coincide with age, I find.
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Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #667 on: November 22, 2020, 05:01:09 PM »
Whooo! You ARE an Amazon, Amber. (But I knew that.)
Many kudos for your clarity and confidence, which I will shortly be trying to channel.

Thanks. I understand what you're describing.

Meanwhile, one of my pleasant self-care distractions is trying to figure out how to design this to fit on a nice purple cushion:

Quote
...when we end a relationship because it's not JUST not working for us - but is actually harming us - there's an outpouring of apologies, peace offerings of the "friend zone", and even casting ourselves into a negative light as "less than" and "not up to the task"... all to excuse and not wound the male ego. And that might be some programmed maternal instinct that gets all twisted up into something unrecognizable in romantic relationships.

I'm really pretty dazzled by this observation of yours; happily chewing on it.

I feel much better today. Still phlegmatic but don't care. Been watching "Alex Rider" on Amazon Prime which is a sort of James-Bondish series featuring an intelligent, precocious teenager, not a caricature. I'm finding the acting, writing and his character much more interesting than the old school Bond stuff and it's very diverting. The other teen characters as well.

Must hie me into a life that includes some teenagers. They're quite wonderful.

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

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #668 on: November 23, 2020, 08:50:34 AM »
Well, young people and sharing with them, hearing their struggles IS quite educational. That was the secret to teaching - students always taught me as much as I claimed to teach them. Thing is the age group of "kids" I'm around the most now are late 30s, early 40s... with a few 50s thrown in. LOLOLOLOL. But it's been really creative and productive and positive for us to share back & forth on "life stuff".

That bit of paragraph you quoted, is the distillation of YEARS of conversation with Hol about just that very thing. Over & over & over. Maybe I ought to see if I still have any calligraphy chops... and frame it for her. A pillow makes sense too. Only Hol and I would be tempted to beat ourselves in the head with the pillow everytime we caught ourselves "doing it again". Or maybe throw it at each other. LOLOL. At which point, we'd both break down in a bad case of the giggles.

Not saying I didn't have my own run-ins with it; I did - but for the most part when I ended a relationship or it was ended FOR me, my trajectory was a solo run into a new iteration of my life. Flee, in other words. I see that struggle to maintain some kind of connection as a "fight" response. (Explaining that point of view, is complicated; has to do with power struggles.)
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Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #669 on: November 23, 2020, 10:33:15 AM »
Quote
I see that struggle to maintain some kind of connection as a "fight" response. (Explaining that point of view, is complicated; has to do with power struggles.

And when you're in the mode and mood, I would love to hear the explanation. Something went "ping" when I read it but I don't know why.

Thanks for sharing your thinking, Amber. It's really valuable.

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #670 on: November 23, 2020, 11:13:45 AM »
I keep starting down the path of castigating myself for having had a meltdown last week, but if I'm fair (friend-ly) to myself, what it really amounted to was a few days of strong feelings and some vulnerability and retreat.

And now I feel myself on the way to the climb out. Some things I have done, baby steps, to improve my mental state and create positivity even with winter coming:

--finally got through to M's housecleaner, agreed on a price (oof) and booked her for twice a month. No longer sure I'll feel comfortable hanging out at M's "pod place" so the "what to do with myself other than drive around" for five hours is a dilemma. He works in his study every morning and though I prefer afternoons, she is only free in the mornings. And she is the only one I am certain will wear the mask while working, as she does at M's. So...long story short, after Tgiving I'll see how I feel about it and decide what to do then.

If anybody has ideas on places one can go to sit outside during winter...I will take Pooch and can always delight her with a series of bundled-up walks in new places, cold weather or not. But I really don't have the energy these days to walk for five hours or another place to go that's virus-safe besides M's. (Cleaner takes 2-3, and doctor said stay out 2 more after she leaves house.)

M will be pleased to have me come there I think. The only way I can continue to have a pod place is to go there twice a month in the mornings this winter. I can work on paperwork and be separate from him (he'll only come out of his study to grab coffee) in the dining room/LR area, and bring a book. I would just do a couple hours there I think and try to drive around the rest of the time. It's just a weird, weird thing. I am aware of one dog-friendly restaurant with a semi-outdoor patio with big heaters, so I could try to wind up there around lunchtime for the last two hours before I go home. There will be people in masks, but decent good air circulation and well spaced tables.

Ideally (this is so disjointed) I'd feel generally better if I can plan things for those cleaner mornings that do NOT involve any dependence on M's hospitality. If I can carefully plan a list of dog-walks plus errands that are as safe as I can figure out, plus perhaps a long drive to a country town to meet a friend for an outside lunch (that won't be possible all winter)...I'll do the best I can to minimize M-time.

What I had otherwise been thinking was that depending on how I feel seeing him after Tgiving, if I re-wobble it might be better for me to withdraw entirely from contact with him. Not out of anger or anything, just to get myself a good distance from the dream-dregs until I'm positive I'm in an entirely new phase of how I view the relationship (dependent on the kind of objectivity Lighter describes that I'm not skilled at). I was shocked by how wrong I was last week about having gotten all the way to the other side.

But if I CAN maintain my own center, I should not be emotionally hobbled by that sort of contact. Especially during mornings. It's the go-for-wine-and-dinner-coziness that was pretty undermining I think. Nothing was wrong with all the feelings that bubbled up. I don't feel them now. I think it was grief residue that I had sealed off and avoided, and it just came up and out.

I feel lighter and calmer because it did. If seeing him now and then as "pod refuge from housecleaning plumes" I still feel that way, it'll be okay. Just yakking my way through it here.

Hmmm. One last thought. M has a whole first floor near-apartment, basement  area, that is literally unused. He comes through occasionally to fetch a book from the stacks or wine from the wine room, but wouldn't be doing that often at all in the mornings. That would feel less connected and also be a space in his home that doesn't have all the associations from the previous rituals we shared. I think when I go I'll ask if he'd mind if I worked down there (paperwork in a big tote.) It'd help I think.

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #671 on: November 23, 2020, 12:52:55 PM »
Can Pooch be left in the car for any length of time, Hops?  I'm just wondering whether any museums or galleries might be open and manageable enough with distance and masks.  Or if she can't stay in the car maybe you could leave her at M's after a walk and you head off to a gallery or something for a couple of hours if you don't have enough paperwork to do to keep you busy?  It is a tricky one with everything being so difficult to manage at the moment.  Or drive 90 minutes - walk Pooch one hour (too much?) - picnic lunch in car - 90 minutes drive back?  Is that too much driving?  Maybe you can do one morning at M's the next out and about or something?  It does sound tricky logistically.  Pesky virus.

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #672 on: November 23, 2020, 01:46:22 PM »
Thanks, Tupp, those are great proposals! I probably wouldn't do the gallery thing as I'm avoiding enclosed spaces and most such are closed around here anyway. But longer drives and picnic in car...those all sound smart to me. (Pooch would survive some in-car time, but I probably wouldn't do that since I won't be going indoors. The restaurant I mentioned allows dogs in that semi-shielded propane-heated almost-open-sided patio with plastic drape not-completely-closed walls. It's drafty which is good.)

In a way, those mornings are opportunities to:
--work with my body to get moving and active, which I avoid especially mornings
--develop thus better sleep routine
--get creative to figure out new places to drive to and walk in (finding horses or cows to feed carrots to brings me joy always, loads of pastures around here). If I could find an open-ended BARN that would allow a visitor, I'd be in heaven.
--find friends also interested in new walks, lunch picnics or somehow-safe non-indoor places

I'll weather it! And if it's super-difficult, tell cleaner we're going to have to do just once a month until warm weather returns. That's another option.

Thanks for the ideas!

hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 01:49:25 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #673 on: November 24, 2020, 09:03:58 AM »
OK - I'll give this a shot. Most of what I've thought about in conjunction with this "friend after romantic relationship" thing comes from observing Hol's tribulations in this. That may NOT however, apply to you. So maybe grist for the mill, while sorting out your own feelings about this? Mind you, this is all speculative - because many combinations of "relationship" at different levels can be possible between two people - depending on the people & circumstances. Of that, I'm certain. Does it happen? Not that often.

In Hol's age cohort the "friends with benefits" phenom is quite common, but they didn't invent it. I'm not sure we did either - but we were no stranger to it either.

I have watched her multiple times, try to maintain some kind of friend contact - with her ex-husband (went OK; but only a decade after they divorced); a couple of other relationships; then this last long-term one. The last one - let's call it the MB decade - she fought tooth & nail and was party to wearing her self-esteem down to get him to acknowledge that what she felt, thought, said and wanted was just as important in the relationship as his wishes. The  last half of their time together was full of heated arguments & hurt feelings on a regular basis. It was exceedly tedious and painful to witness for me. Just make a decision already! LOLOL.

Then it dawned on me that it was a power struggle. That what she wanted was for him to participate, engage, with the situation between them... and she was determined to stick out the suffering even though her feelings for him were pretty much nil at that point; she was miserable - even tells the story to this day that she had to repeat to herself "I'm good at my job" on the drive to work because MB would discount how difficult her work was. This youngish woman has always had a healthy ego... and been extremly strong emotionally and in her self-value. She knows she's capable, competent, independent and effectively compassionate. But she was on the edge of losing that, especially the last year.

Her relief when he finally decided to break up was just as intense. She took the road trip, with Knuckles, to re-discover what it felt like to just be her again... and while the trip was longer than initially planned, she did accomplish what she set out to do. About 2 months. But then ensued the campaign to try to maintain friendship. Of course, there were loose ends to tie up on the business side of spending a decade with someone.

Over the course of 3 years, talking about this - it still comes up for her, intensely emotional at times - she's been able to say that she is trying to "win". To wheedle, cajole, reason, find just the right metaphor or analogy - to make him see that she wasn't a bad person just because she was DIFFERENT from him, and felt/thought things different than he did. She made gestures; left messages; even visited him to pick up/move stuff with the current BF - who was engaged with on a mutually respectful level, but not HER.

MB had even gone to far as to concoct a total fantasy of how evil she was to MB during the relationship and tried to shop that to her friends -- who'd been "in the loop" of her confidence all along. When confronted on it - he simply slunk away. But Hol wouldn't give up trying... hoping... that some day, some how he would "see the light" and there could be a full debriefing of what happened, apologies on both sides, shake hands and know the other wasn't seen as a villain.

That was the stakes in the power struggle. Ultimately, she did NOT win that time. But she fought and in some ways still struggles for a way to fight longer - because the reality of her, then & now - is not what he thinks or manufactured a fantasy of what it is. Somehow - her self-image is tied to succeeding in that struggle.

So that's how I understand fighting to maintain a friendship after a romantic relationship. It's foreign to me; especially how it's important to her to "win" in this struggle.

More later; gotta go.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 09:44:26 AM by sKePTiKal »
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #674 on: November 24, 2020, 10:04:28 AM »
My "fleeing" response - whether with a new relationship or solo - was simply that there was no point for me whatsoever, that I needed anything from that former partner in the way of respect or kindness and so I "ran fast & far"; reinventing myself as part of that process.

I think in my case, I let myself be too defined by the partner in relationships too. Such that each time I moved on; I was able to grab just a little bit of me again - before I repeated the error. Still don't know what I was trying to work out; since I'm not doing that anymore - not sure it matters, now, to dissect it. It was one of the dumb things I did trying to cope with the FOO stuff.

There was only one instance where I tried to hang on to something; and I'd been flat out rejected and abandoned by a "fatal attraction" type relationship. It had lasted about 3 years or so - but we were distinctly incompatible on some serious points that couldn't be overcome. So I fell into the whole distraught, pleading, "I can't live without you" role. (Blech, btw.) For about 6 months. And I worked overtime to convince myself that was true, too.

Then Ex#2 spotted me and scooped me up. And while we got along OK for 14 years and accomplished some significant things together... it didn't end well either. I abandoned him. We spoke a couple of times, and I went back to load up a cabinet he'd bought me that I couldn't take when I moved out. Found out the new sucker (wife) had her own furniture and the association for him, with me & the cabinet meant it had to go. I had ignored what his ex-wife and friends said about him; thinking I could manage what they couldn't. Pride is a painful thing to deal with sometimes. But even though I'm in the next county from him now; I have absolutely no desire to speak with him about anything. Which seems weird - coz he is quite knowledgeable about what I'm attempting on the farm. But I have the "take that" attitude (which might be a little of the fight reflex) to do things my own way; succeed or not as I will... versus doing things his way; and the man was always so damnably right all the time. But I know it's not the ONLY way to succeed. 20 years later, I'm sure of that.

I hope some of this germinates some ideas for ya Hops. Obviously, the first quote is the easiest to remember. Being short & concise. LOLOLOL. Like I mentioned, it's a distillation of all this babble.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.