real love is messy

“Real love is messy.  If it isn’t messy, it isn’t real.  Besides, if you want neat and simple and uncomplicated love, you should stick to getting a dog.”

Someone said this to me recently and I laughed out loud.  But it stuck.  And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my relationship with James, and, more particularly, what went wrong in that relationship.  Needless to say, this isn’t a fun exercise.

In my recent post “mike.  finally.“, I laid bare my darkest demons right now and how they are affecting me.  I wrote about how I didn’t really talk about that relationship or those feelings with anyone other than my two closest friends.  I am, by nature, a pretty open person, but I don’t burden most people with the stuff that makes me cry when I’m alone.  I know that the repercussions of my relationship with Mike must be addressed, and I am doing everything I can to process that and move through it — I acknowledge it, I am in therapy, I talk to my friends when my fears get in my way.  I’m not sure what else I can humanly do to get over it any faster.  If I could change things, I would.  Lord knows, I would.

But I can’t.  This is where I am right now.

One of the blessings of being an adult is that we get to choose whether we want to sign on for a ride with other people’s “stuff”  — the messy, sometimes ugly, sometimes confusing emotional junk that they have accumulated living on this Earth.  In my life, I have certainly chosen not to sign on with some people, and I’m sure I will do again.  I was very aware of James’ “stuff.”  I considered and made a deliberate choice to take on his closed-off nature, the frequent silent treatments, the ever-present, ever-unpredictable ex-wife, and the four kids with sometimes heart-breaking problems.  I figured that he was worth it, and most people at our place in life aren’t easy or uncomplicated.  Of course, I’d love to find perpetually easy and light, but I truly do believe that if I did, it wouldn’t be real.  My friend Annie is the least messed-up, most well-adjusted person I know, and even she has not infrequent moments of abject emotional fear and insecurity.  That’s life, isn’t it?

But the fact still remains that James is allowed to decide that my “stuff” is more than he wants right now or ever.  It’s his prerogative to opt for easy and emotionally-distant.  And I know that.  Even if it hurts.

I learned a helluva lot from this relationship.  I saw my own issues in stark, bright light.  But I also remembered the things that I do well when I care about someone:  I like to do nice things for them.  I like to take care of them and the people they care about.  I like to shower them with affection.  I like to hear their stories and their fears and the stuff they don’t even like about themselves.  I like to make them feel special and appreciated and valued.  All of that makes me happy.  Really, truly happy.

And I learned a lot about what I need back:  I need some reassurance once-in-awhile.  I need to be reminded sometimes of the things  he likes about me.  I need to feel that, after some amount of time, I can show him my fears and not be judged or abandoned because of them.  I need to be able to talk to him about things, without fearing his defensiveness or silence or anger.  I need to be with someone who is sure about his feelings for me, whatever those are, and who can tell me that occasionally.

James and I were together, including short break-ups, for about a year.  He was sweet to me, he took good care of me, and he spoiled me with delicious meals and wonderful nights out.  But in most ways, our relationship was the same at one month as it was at one year.  We dated exclusively during the last four months, but only because I finally insisted on it.  We did not talk about the future beyond a few weeks’ time.  We didn’t say “I love you” or anything even close.  I didn’t keep so much as a toothbrush at his house, even though I spent about 1/2 of my time there.  We were a couple, but in name only.

I dreamt earlier this week about a boyfriend I had when I lived in England in my early 20’s, and an incident I hadn’t thought of in many years…. We were standing in the pouring rain, at a busstop beside a busy road, and I was freaking out.  “What are we doing?!” I screamed at him over the din of the rain and the traffic.  “This is crazy!  Your parents hate me!  I’m going back to America some day, and your life is here!  This will never work!”  He grabbed my shoulders and looked me in the eye and shouted back, “I love you.  You love me.  Together we’ll figure out the rest.”  And, instantly, all the power of my fear disappeared and I collapsed against his chest and we stood there, getting soaked to the skin. (As it so happens, our relationship didn’t make it.  We were too young and too inexperienced and we let all those outside forces undo us eventually.  But I still wouldn’t trade that moment for anything in this world.)

There were times — sweet, perfect, brief minutes — when I thought that this was what James and I were doing, tackling the stuff the world threw at us, together. But then I’d hear him say that we were “still getting to know each other” and I’d realize that there was not anything about us that I really knew for sure.

At this point in life, there are so many external pressures on a relationship — children, careers, financial worries, aging parents, ex-spouses — that it seems to me that it’s more important than ever to be able to have faith and security in that relationship.  I didn’t have that with James.  I wanted it.   So very, very much, I wanted it.  But he couldn’t or wouldn’t give that to me.  And so it didn’t work.

So, yes, love is messy.  I am ready to embrace that mess, with the right person.  I have my sleeves rolled up and my eyes wide open.

And until that happens, I have my dog.

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40 Comments

Filed under dating, healing, love, personal growth, relationships, sadness, single mom

40 responses to “real love is messy

  1. I lived this snippet from your past: “What are we doing?!” I screamed at him over the din of the rain and the traffic. “This is crazy! Your parents hate me! I’m going back to America some day, and your life is here! This will never work!” He grabbed my shoulders and looked me in the eye and shouted back, “I love you. You love me. Together we’ll figure out the rest.”

    When I moved from Australia to England, I did it on the whisper of a promise of a future.

    We were engaged within the week, married within 6 months, and married more than 20 years. The ups and downs weren’t easy and there were times I knew I should have thought through some of the problems I had with my runaway wife. But I decided the commitment was it, was everything. Except for the hard times in 1998, when it all would have fallen apart but for my runaway wife’s commitment. The funny thing is that she was the one that would have a Major Tantrum, pack the bags to leave, and generally rip my heart out. But when it came to me leaving, she was the one that held it together.

    Your follow-up resonates equally strongly: …our relationship didn’t make it. We were too young and too inexperienced and we let all those outside forces undo us eventually. But I still wouldn’t trade that moment for anything in this world.

    I had opportunities to make an exit before both marriages and kids once I realized by runaway wife was ‘temper-challenged’ but the temper wasn’t on display often and I decided the best stuff–the love–was too strong to throw the relationship away before I’d given it a serious chance. We were so compatible in so many ways, I was sure it would work out in the long run.

    One strength I have is also my biggest failing: persistence. I will not give up on some things when others are ready to throw in the towel, like relationships or difficult problems at work that need to be solved. Yay me. Also, there are times I don’t give up when I should to save me or others some pain, like relationships or problems at work that don’t need to be solved. Oops me.

    In the same way, I think that many of our strengths are the bright side of our weaknesses, and vice versa. When we’re open, that can be good or bad, depending on who we’re partnered with. If you’re good at giving reassurance, you might need it yourself more than your partner realizes (without subtle heavy hints).

    I think that having faith and security in a relationship is important. I think equally having sheer bloody-minded persistence counts for a lot too. Even though it has downsides, it helps when it’s necessary to clear a big hurdle that might break weaker relationships. Often, on the other side of a major problem is both a sunny vista and extra Relationship Credits for having survived the toughest of times.

    • SD, you hit upon something that I thought of after I’d published the post — how much I had struggled to understand his persistence and perseverance. Early in our relationship, I was still in running mode and he persisted in getting us back together. And later, when we began to integrate our families together a bit, we hit some rough patches but he didn’t bail. It was part of what was so confusing to me: why stick around if you don’t really care, but if you really care, why not ever tell me?

      I think that you’re right — persistence counts for whole, whole lot, and it’s something I really respect about him.

      I can be very persistent — some would even say stubborn — about holding onto a relationship, but I have to really believe in it. I have to feel like it’s the outside stuff hammering us. If I don’t feel safe in how my partner feels about me, I don’t put my shoulder into it and push it through to the other side. Maybe I should. I don’t know.

      • I agree with you. You had someone who was persistent. You haven’t explained why it didn’t work out in the long run, but it was on the right path for some time.

        Based on the serious relationships I had before my marriage, as well as my long marriage, I don’t really look at any of them as failures, but as relationships that didn’t quite make the distance. Sometimes I saw too late it wasn’t going to work. Or vice versa. After all, the name of the game is not perfection, but compatibility. The guy who’s right for you may not find you the gal who’s right for him, and neither of you are at fault or wrong, that’s just the way it is.

        But when you’re feeling certain a budding relationship has a spark and is blossoming (if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphors), I think that persistence is what can drive it over the finish line into the status of “settled” and, importantly, keep it there. Lives are dynamic. Whether it’s jobs, sex, friends, stresses, family pressure, or the myriad other influences, relationships require work to keep them alive. And that’s where we’re right back at persistence being key.

        My opinion: If it feels right, whichever relationship you’re thinking of, present or future, be persistently stubborn or stubbornly persistent. In a gentle way of course. It’s better to try and fail than let Life slide by and mess things up for you just because Life can be mischievious sometimes. The only exception to this is the clear Not-Going-To-Work relationship. Although sometimes you need friends to point these ones out. The clues might be subtle: “Hey, your boyfriend stole my car!” so pay attention and look out for them! 🙂

    • Hey there, I’ll add my two pences worth in the discussion and tell you about this theory which someone recently told me about. Women apparently are vulnerable, need reassurance that they are loved, that they are important to their man and that the relationship is safe – what you very clearly described as ” I need to be reminded sometimes of the things he likes about me. I need to feel that, after some amount of time, I can show him my fears and not be judged or abandoned because of them.”
      Men need to feel valued, and to fulfill their needs.

      This is what I understood, I may be wrong and I have missed some stuff about what men need (sorry gentlemen).

      Anyway, what sometimes seems to happen is that the woman starts to feel unsafe in the relationship either because the man is unable to reassure them, or because their man starts being the one needing reassurance. In this case, they often start desinvesting the relationship instead of voicing their concerns and trying to work things through. It’s a kind of protective mechanism.

      A wild guess here, but SD, could this have played a part in your relationship? In 2008, you threaten to leave the relationship and she has to be the strong one, holding it together and keeping it safe. You apparently weathered the storm and in your mind got back on track, but maybe for her, things never felt as safe again. Instead of being aware of it and telling you about it, she may have gradually withdrawn from your relationship…

      I don’t know, of course this is all theoretical stuff, and things are likely to be much more complex, her father’s death is likely to have played a huge part for example, but whatever, just a thought…

      TPG, if you told James about your (absolutely normal) need to feel safe and reassured about the relationship, and he was unable to meet your need, then he’s probably not the right man for you. Would he consider digging into the matter a bit for the sake of making your relationship work? Because with some persistence and better communication of your respective needs, it may work out?

      I guess the same could have been said of your marriage, maybe if you had dug around the subject together (not just told him to stop doing one thing or another), through counselling or another similar approach, you ex may have been able to give you what you needed, such as more space, freedom, respect, importance, whatever… Then again, as you pointed out, he may not, and in that case you were perfectly justified in leaving him.

      Ok, that’s part one. Part two below…

    • May we all have someone who is as persistent.

  2. Pingback: Persistence | Four is a Family

  3. For me…the vows were supposed to be the guaranty of persistent and best efforts.
    No relationship is perfect 100% of the time. ALL long tem relationships have hills and valleys. But damnit…that’s why you remember what is was all about in the first place, and re-commit, and tell the other person how you feel …. etcetera etcetera etcetera (doing my best yul brynner imitation here). SO many people I think give up in their heads for what they “think” is wrong….and stop communicating, and then make up more and more to justify their feelings.
    Sean…I hear ya. You are me.

    PG…you said “At this point in life, there are so many external pressures on a relationship — children, careers, financial worries, aging parents, ex-spouses — that is seems to me that it’s more important than ever to be able to have faith and security in that relationship. I didn’t have that with James. I wanted it.”
    I of course don’t know what or why you felt this way….but i understand the sentiment. After X’s first affair, although I had faith in us, there were times when eggshells seemed to be the floor of insecurity that I walked on in our marriage. Our mistake was not seeing professional help, to get her tp break through whatever demons she was dealing with. She told me after she left that she didn’t believe I loved her. I have no idea how she could think this. I told her everyday…and would call her in the middle of the day just to say it. We still held hands up until shortly before she left.

    You are right …there are so many more pressures these days. The big picture becomes so much more important…ad I think too few realize that a day is a small thing for the years to come.

    Peace to you

    • Ugh. LFBA, you hit a chord. “SO many people I think give up in their heads for what they “think” is wrong….and stop communicating, and then make up more and more to justify their feelings.” I fear that might have been me, to a certain extent. Then again, I really don’t know. The outcome of the relationship would seem to suggest that my fears were not of my own imagining…

      The idea that she is a not loved by the man she is with (or even married to) seems to be an echoing refrain among women I know, read about, and hear about second- or third-hand. I do not understand why this chasm exists between men and women, but it makes me sad…. for all of us. I wish I knew how to close it.

    • part two-

      LFBA,
      Perhaps, sometimes, love is not enough, and people have such personal issues that they cannot sustain a healthy relationship. Could this have been the case with X?

      TPG,
      I agree with LFBA, too many partners seem to just give up when the going gets tough. We live in a consumerist society, where the pursuit of happiness seems to be used as an excuse to just bin a relationship which no longer makes you happy.

      To my mind, vows, or commitment, especially children, should mean that people really take a long, hard look at themselves before they decide that there is really no other way than being apart. If I was god, I would make psychoanalysis or life coaching or something like that mandatory for two years before any parent is allowed to leave their spouse ;)! Totally over the top, but anyway, you get the gist…

      Of course, this is probably not your case, it sounds like you gave your marriage a lot of time to get better, and really tried to work on yourself too…

      So going back to your post (at last), yes, real love is messy. And this means it takes a lot of hard work to maintain it.

      • Well, Lady E, James and I were not married; we only dated for a year — which in marriage terms is a mere blink — and I actually would not have wanted him to stay with me for one minute more than he wanted to be there. But I also think that most people do take a good, hard look at themselves before they separate. That look might not be long enough or hard enough in their partner’s opinion, but it may also be all they are capable of. (Just for the record, I find this as frustrating as anyone else, but I’m learning to accept that everyone has limitations on their ability to be self-aware.) We can’t make our partners live or share our experience or feelings, no matter how much we may want it. Sometimes the divide is simply too great. And yet, then we can turn around and have a really intimate, productive dialogue with a total stranger who “gets” us. Go figure. The irony and craziness in that truth has made me want to scream on multiple occasions since my divorce.

    • I wonder, LFBA,….maybe even though you were verbally telling her, spoken word isn’t her love language? The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) was particularly, good, I thought. Even though I hear this numerous times daily, another way I know this to be true is that he does stuff- like building me a chicken coop, for example. Sometimes our love languages don’t match up, and even if we think we’re expressing it, the other person isn’t quite getting it- they might “know” it, but they don’t “feel” it.

      It’s important, I think, to understand how that other person perceives love. Granted, there are those that no matter what you do or say, are going to have their own, differing opinions and nothing you do or say is going to change that.

      Bottom line, though- sometimes things just aren’t going to work out. If only one person is completely committed, and even if that person does and says all the right things, it still may not work out. 😦

      • Tik Tok…
        There are a lot of expressions of love…true. Obviously X did not “hear” all of mine. But I think she chose not to. She always felt like she had to “do more and be more” in life. Comparing her life to others. She wrote once about talking to a National Geographic photographer. She envied his travels and freedoms…how he lived this adventurous life. He on the other hand would have done anything to have the life she had…with a partner that loved her, kids, some stability.
        When she wrote this she ended with a sentiment that she needs to learn to see all that is actually in front of her and appreciate it. That (the family) does not hold her back from advnenture…it’s just up to her to balance it.
        Our “goal” was to for my business to succeed in a way that I could be there 3 days a week,,. with a lot of time for travel and adventure.
        Her inability to continue to see what we were working for….sacrificing the future, our future, for her own present day insecurities is what ultimately destroyed my family.
        She is a talented writer, When I told her that, it was shrugged off. When J told her that and wrote self-indulgent poetry about it…it made her feel validated.
        She chose to value his words more than mine. She chose to ignore that when she was having “shared experiences doing photography” with him…her adoring husband was at home with the kids supporting her…so that she COULD go on those photo trips. She chose to ignore the fact that HE was lying to his family and wife. Ultimately she will probably realize that his stripes will not change. That the poetry he wrote to her was recycled from the other 3 wives and girlfriends. That really….it’s all about him.
        But…he spoke her love language, for the time being. And she willingly fell.

        • LFBA, it sounds like you were definitely in a no-win. 😦

          It’s interesting, isn’t it, that sometimes, someone (spouse, SO) that is “supposed” to act a certain way doesn’t have those efforts rewarded, while someone who isn’t supposed to have any role (a stranger; someone who has no real stake in the relationship) who does the same stuff can have the someone on the receiving end just fawning over that other person.

          I don’t know it this is a matter of too much baggage or what, but it just makes me wonder why two people can do the same exact thing and have such totally different responses.

          I think you are right, of course- she chose what she wanted to hear and from whom; what she wanted to “make” her feel good- and you were on the receiving end of her decision. 😦

          I think this is what many people don’t understand: real love isn’t thrills and adrenalin all the time. Real love IS messy. Real love is all the other stuff in between the periods of lust and thrill-seeking. (of course, I keep thinking of 1 Corinthians 13, particularly 4-7) Sure, you can have that other stuff, but it’s usually not sustainable.

          Clearly, you’ll survive, and maybe be happier for it, once the dust settles. It is hard to learn that you’ve been duped and your life has been an illusion….

  4. SD, thanks for that reminder about persistence. I suspect that, if you stick around, you will likely be offering it again in the future. I think persistence requires a certain faith in your own judgment… maybe even a blind faith. And this was likely part of my failing — at least in my eyes — in my relationship with James. My lack of faith in my own judgment of men undermines my attempts at persistence right now. But I’ll get it back. I’ve overcome worse than Mike, so I know it’s just a matter of time.

    I also appreciate the reminder about relationship endings not being a failure. That is my theory as well, but harder to remember when you are in the midst of feeling sad. So thank you for that. 🙂

  5. This is something I have seen a lot of- leaving = failing. Even when the person is *miserable*!

    So here’s the thing, imo- persistence is great if it’s worth it. “It” has to be worth it, or else staying is pointless. I have seen people who refuse to leave really bad (and sometimes actually life-threatening) marriages because they don’t want to ‘fail.”

    I personally believe that the failure is staying when happiness has been dead and gone a really long time. Sometimes, things just can’t be fixed, despite all good intentions, and persistence. If they both don’t have it (the willingness to work on the relationship, to keep it spicy, to be persistent, ect), it is probably not going to work in the long run.

    I have seen a lot of this, and SD, no, it’s not just the guy who leaves. In our circle here, there have been at least 3 wives who have left their husbands and kids just in the last year alone.

    From a woman’s angle, I think we are pressured/programmed to want kids; to want the house; to want the marriage. And honestly, I don’t think most people any more are given the tools to have good relationships, or to know what to do when the going gets rough. Give it enough time, and even a flaming, burning love affair will hit the patch where taking out the trash and mowing the lawn makes one wonder.

    I don’t think there is any set, pat answer to all of this. No two relationships are the same. And, as we get older, it gets more complicated. It would be great it everything was really obvious and we could follow that green line….

    • TT, I love how leveled and rational your comments are. You’re absolutely right, persistence for persistence’s sake (or, put another way, for the sake of a promise once made) only works if “it” is worth it… if there’s enough good raw material remaining to continue building something. Love can indeed die, and when it does, it’s really and truly over.

      And amen to the green line. If you find it, please let me know. 🙂

  6. you’re right real love is messy… but it’s not messy all of the time…and in fact some of us elevate it to the deserved ar form it can be…. in the end, it still becomes messy….someone leaves, someone dies, someone gets lost along the way…

    Bhudda’s words: “life is suffrage”

    he is so right….but it has its moments of being amazing…just like love….

    T.

  7. IMHO

    Sometimes marriages should end. True,
    We can not make someone love us. True.
    We can not live in their skin and fully understand their limitations. True.

    On the flip side…

    Many marriages end for a lot of wrong reasons. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard years later…”what a mistake it was to leave. the grass really isn’t greener and I wish I had the foresight to follow through and work on things”. (editorialized versions of many conversations.)

    Sometimes we forget that “those amazing moments” are real too…instead we often lock those away as insignificant and triviale while aggrandizing the truly trivial to justify some inner turmoil. The “raw” material often still exists. But it needs to be uncovered of “family obligations, financial pressures, kids, sickness and schedules”. Aren’t all of these…the good and the hectic, the reasons we marry in the first place??

    Despite hollywood…infidelity, either emotional, physical or both…sucks.
    (now…if the arrangement is an open marriage and both parties consent, then I will not say it is wrong. But in a committed, monogomamous relationship I feel it is wrong)

    Promises have different levels of committment.
    A promise ring that one is now going steady is less committed than “I do”.
    That “I Do, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” did not include the caveat….unless I have a bad day too, and it is not ” head over heels” anymore….and “these are not OUR financial difficulties, these are YOUR business problems…so you take all the problems, and give me what I deserve in profit”

  8. Mmm, I guess I wasn’t referring to your relationship with James in the second part of my comment (that wasin the first part 😉 ). James and you had not committed to each other and I believe it is fair enough if one of you decided to leave, even if it bloody well smarts, I’m sure ;).

    No, my comment was about committed relationships.

    On the one hand, I agree with TT and you about the fact that there is no point is equating leaving with failing, or staying for persistence’s sake. On the other hand, in my view, too many people do not take that long, hard look at themselves before giving up.

    All the couples I know who have been happily married for yonks say that there are periods when they though the love was dead, when they felt deeply unhappy, when they wondered what they were doing with their life. But in hindsight, they don’t think this meant their relationship wasn’t worth it.

    I guess that deeply, I agree with you, not all relationships are worh saving, and leaving may be the better option. What I am wondering about is where is that limit between when it is better to turn the page, and break the commitment you’ve made, and when it is better to persist?
    x

    • Lady E….that last question is hard to answer. there are many causes for unhappiness. it could be the other partner is faulty or that things just are not working out. But based on all the people I have known, that unhappiness is usually from within and the other person or family or situation becomes the scapegoat.

      Deep….honest…counseling i think should be required after those vows have been taken in order to get our. (tongue in cheek but food for thought)

      However…if one person decides that they want out and are not willing to work on it, then there is little the other can do. It rarely is like hollywood where the “left spouse” can show up on a doorstep and sing some silly tune to have the leaving spouse change his/her mind.
      They have to WANT to change their mind and work on it.
      Unfortunately…they often have turned off that light and even if they realize that all of their decisions are based on false assumptions…they will not turn back. Could be pride, could be anger…or maybe they just have to prove they are right.
      Only hindsight tells them they were usually wrong.
      But by then it is too late.

      So the short answer after a very wordy reply is…”who the hell knows”. I know that I don’t because I would have persisted until there were no options left.

    • I think that answer is easy- but can be complicated.

      The easy answer is when the “what it is” far negatively outweighs the “what it could be.” We can have an idea of what it can be, but if both people aren’t on the same page with what that is, you’re not going to get there. And as a result, you are going to wallow and be mired in the “what it is” and be miserable.

      If I, for example, say my utopia is to live on a farm and have animals coming out the wazoo and to never leave it, ever, and my SO’s definition of utopia is travelling 24/7, living mobily and having no set place to call home, well, unless you can come to a compromise, things could get hairy.

      When your personal desires outweigh the good of the relationship (or vice versa) there are probably going to be problems.

      If only one person is doing all the compromising all the time- eventually, that gets old and there are probably going to be problems.

      Part of what happens, I think, is that people get into relationships with preconceived ideas; ideas about who they are, how they think, what they want out of life, etc etc. This is particularly more so if they are young. Life happens. People grow; people change. At some point, a person can wake up and wonder how it is they got “here,” even if where they had plotted and planned to go all along.

      If that happens and one person isn’t happy or fulfilled at that point, things can go downhill.

      On the one hand, you’ve got the perspective of,”But isn’t this what you wanted all along? Why is it now not good enough?” compared to the “Oh shit, I’ve been duped. I’ve spent my whole life trying to get to this place, and it is not what was sold to me!”

      All of that, in some way, imo, revolves around self-discovery and evolution.

      There is going to be a disconnect and problems when one (or both) take the stance that what is most important is “my hobby” or “my passion” or “my self-worth” or “my self-development” or “my personal happiness through….”

      What complicates the decision to stay or go is usually stuff- cars, property/house, children- all the tangible stuff that legally and emotionally ties people together. That’s the stuff that is tangled, and makes the decision to go or stay complicated.

      How much easier it would be if both people just made the absolute, bottom line priority just to simply really love each other, no matter what it took, because the love with that other person was the most important thing………….

  9. I mostly agree LFBA. There’s an interesting discussion on that very topic over on Caroline’s blog today…http://icansurvive.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/are-there-any-marriages-that-survive/
    x

  10. I suggest that the next relationship that you enter into you insist on one where the guy is emotionally available. You settled for the crumbs of a relationship rather than the whole steak.

    Also don’t be in too big a hurry to have sex with the guy. Contrary to what you might think, it does not endear you to him. Most guys are geared for the hunt and will continue to pursue you until you give them sex. Don’t give them sex unless and until you are in a committed monogamouos relationship.

    Blesings on you and yours
    John

    • Interesting you should say that, John…. my therapist also advocates the two-month rule and I’ve been musing on a post about that very idea….

      Thanks for stopping by.

      TPG

    • John,
      I just might have to remove you from my Xmas card list! 🙂

      • Hey Separated Dad
        Is it because you are a player and in favor of one night stands and meaningless sex?
        John

        • Oh my gosh, John! I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment! I can see how you drew that conclusion from SD’s comment, and there are certainly predatory players here in blogville, but a quick read of his blog will give you a better idea of him. 🙂 His silly, dry English sense of humor can definitely get him trouble, though…. LOL….

      • Hi John,

        A big thanks to my great friends here, I didn’t need to defend myself in some plaintive way.

        A smiley face usually means humor is intended. There’s no need to make wild assumptions about me just because I make a subtle joke, especially when everything needed to answer that about me is right there in my own blog…under About Me. 🙂

        But moving on: I thought the “19 Things Women Wished Men Knew …” post is eminently sensible and thorough. Men who score highly on every single point may well have the happiest partners around. Men who even try hard to make progress should score brownie points with their partners for their effort. Good post – thanks!

  11. Glad we cleared that up.
    John

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