Charter Member of the Sub-Media

July 14, 2008

Bagged and Tagged ¬ę Stuff Important to Me ¬Ľ

In this episode of ďAsk Dr. Helen,Ē Dr. Helen responds to a guy asking about long-term bachelor-hood by saying that 10% of the population simply should never be married.

After many years of painful experience, Iíve finally decided (realized?) that probably Iím one of them.

Iím excellent at attracting women, but lousy at keeping them.

But Iím already in a marriage. To a wife who is deeply unhappy in our life, and deeply dissatisfied with me as a husband. I am willing and eager to change myself to help create an environment that will be more conducive to happiness, but I apparently have significant shortcomings that I am unable to overcome. And in retrospect, it is these same shortcomings that have contributed to the failure of every romantic relationship Iíve had.

Önow, it is just barely possible that Iíve merely found the wrong women.

But I find that to be increasingly unlikely, the more I understand women.

I am weak in a relationship, passive. I donít want to offend or be overbearing, but have gone too far in the other direction. Iím a nice guy, and try hard, but women cannot respect a doormat. And yet, a doormat I am, and a doormat I shall probably always be. As best as I can tell, it comes from:

1) A deliberate, conscious attempt to eliminate the negatives of a typical male (callousness, infidelity, tendency to use violence to express anger)

2) A mother who was unable to control her anger, leaving me terrified of female rage

3) A mother who was unable to control her anger, which has resulted in my inability to establish proper boundaries of self and self-respect, in the clinically-identified typical response to emotional abuse

4) A genuine reluctance to impose my preferences on someone else, arising from a focus on being with someone as a source of happiness, rather than a personal need/desire to engage in any specific activity or pursue any specific life goal.

So, if I am correct and I shouldnít have ever gotten married, what do I do now?

Itís quite possible the situation may resolve itself naturally, i.e., she decides to bail. If so, your proper response should be congratulations, not condolences, k?

Why don't I bail?

A combination of my sense of responsibility and hope.

Posted by Nathan at 05:41 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

I bookmarked your article from February, about "embracing the suck".

I rarely bookmark a single post, but that was one helluva post, and practical for understanding.

I think you've observed and emotionally recorded a lot of things and have played them back faithfully and truthfully. I wonder, however, if you have interpreted the scenes correctly.

Like watching a movie in another language. That's what relationships are like. It takes time, playing scenes over and over again, looking for the cues and the keys to understanding.

Or maybe that's just me.

However, there really are worse things that being alone. And that is being distracted by what we think we need instead of quietly becoming who we are. Good luck, Nathan!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 14, 2008 07:20 PM

@Mr. Lady,
You have a chance, but I draw the line at heavy petting. If that's enough for you, I'll bring the beer if you bring the Doritos.

Posted by: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame at July 14, 2008 09:40 PM

Dude, if you don't put out on the first date, I don't waste my time. :)

Posted by: Mr Lady at July 15, 2008 07:17 PM

Ouch. Sorry to hear you're having a rough time in the marital department. I can identify with some of your observations, because I've seen a few of them in myself. I've had to learn how to set my own boundaries and refuse to give in to temper tantrums just to keep the peace. I also learned that 90% of the time to let her have her way because it's not worth arguing about, but carefully choose the other 10% when I have to stand my ground and be prepared to hold it for all it's worth. I think I get a little more respect that way. Also I vowed that violence would never be a part of our relationship and I wouldn't put up with it any more than she would. Also she would have far more to lose if I walked than I would, because I'm not much into personal possessions, and all I'd require are the base necessities.

Posted by: diamond dave at July 16, 2008 04:32 PM