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Discussion Starter #1
I'm on the brink of giving up trying to find something meaningful in relationships.

There are several people on here contemplating on leaving unfulfilling marriages, but it only makes me realize all marriages are going to have unmet needs. Humans fail, its what we do. Why marry in the first place? Why even have a relationship? I think we are all on a quest to find someone worth tricking ourselves into believing that life is meant to be with one lover. We put such importance on virginity and monogamy, yes those have certain valuable benefits but it seems they are only temporary, there is more to life - even if you practice monogamy everyone still has to deal with thoughts or temptations of experiencing more: our minds are not monogamous. And then when we finally come around to acting on the thought that we can do better in life we go out and look for something better to replace what we had, why do we need something so badly that we can never completely have?

Not sure what is spurring this on, I am not feeling any more depressed or frustrated than I always have, however I am feeling an expressive urge, my mind has formed this thought and I guess I need to get it out there.

During this past year I have felt a lot of loneliness and emptiness, in some ways I have put myself out there and others I've still held myself back, I guess I did get out there a bit and saw absolutetely nothing I wanted or liked. I can't see myself having another "relationship" I've tried, but am not compatible with anyone I have ever met, in my entire life (I thought I was with my ex W for awhile but I think I pulled the fleece over my own eyes there) - especially if they have baggage and are looking for me to be the solution to their old problem, nor do I want someone with no baggage because it means they just haven't figured out what they want from life yet (they are still susceptible to inconceivable disappointment). I don't want to be the source or, or even in the mere presence of that kind of disappointment. I don't think an ideal partner for me can exist - if they are too good then I feel guilt about using up their time, if they are not too good then they are just not good enough.

I don't think I've ever had a single truly fulfilling relationship (friendly or sexual), in fact the few hours a day I spend on this site is probably the most rewarding interaction I've ever had. I don't really want sex, even though I have a high sex drive and obsess over the female body. Self pleasure is almost fulfilling enough, more fulfilling than anything else - I enjoyed sex when I was married, and the bond it made was so much more than self pleasure, but the amount of work and upkeep to keep the spark is just not worth it, many, though not all, times I preferred to be alone than having sex with my W. I am realizing I was a lousy husband, not because I was mean or too passive or anything, just because I don't live up to social expectations of what a husband is supposed to be, nor do I really want to anymore.

So with that attitude I really can't see myself being of much value to a potential mate, atleast not one that expects anything of me, and I have no interest in being with someone who has zero expectations, because I still underneath it all, am an idealist.

I understand the importance of socializing, but I think the solution for me, instead of feeling depressed for not being able to ever generate any momentum in that area - and trust me I have been trying everything I can think of for the past three decades - is to just stop even trying, I honestly think a hermit's life, though bleak and empty is probably a lot more rewarding when they accept who they are and stop trying to want, and instead just embrace it, for me as a pretty severe introvert I have always tried to fight that introversion, so afraid to accept it. I think it is soon time to not tell the world to F off, rather to just tell it nothing. Instead of feeling guilty for being lazy, forgetful, introspective and difficult to be around, I will just stop trying to overcome those and be who I am, alone. And it feels good for me to say this (I do not want pity at all, I just want support or nothing at all). I don't think I have ever, in my strategic outlook, tried to just go with the introversion - it inevitably has its way with me but I'm looking the other direction, I think I need to try a 180 on my own vision in life because I see nothing, not even the horizon when I'm looking the direction I've always thought I'm supposed to look.
 

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Hey Canuck!

Well, kinda think like me ( a fellow Canuck-UL-Head, Left Coaster here..) you may have had some bad luck and the on-set of winter has peoples moods changing dramatically.

Your questioning. That is good, its says you are thinking. On a clear day, rise up and look around you. How it will astound you!
On that clear day, you can see forever! But, when is it ever clear?

The efforts you have made, the results you have gotten, the time that has passed, all these are part of it all...your path. But what is clear, you alone make the difference, it must be you that Rises Above, to see forever and ever, ever more!

Who's gonna save your soul? When someone speaks, will you listen? If you are prepared to do so, then that will be the day that you will understand your role and what it feels like.

So prepare. But don't rely on words or concepts like "marriage" and "relationship", don't let the selfish mind overwhelm the wonder of possibilities. We all live in a society that bears over me and over you with the gospel of what is and what should be.

You're not the only one staring at the sun, who's happy to be done with it all. Easier to let go and just be. To never really belong to anyone or anything.

But dare to dream, of what you need. A new day will come. In it you will find true meaning to all your questions.

A closeness, to sing in the dark, to feel another and be part of something else. To smile and know in that smile that returns to you a love of everything that can be.

Absolutes just dont have what you are looking for. She is like you ... and she is out there. God has made a woman for each man. When a man trusts in God, then that woman shall appear to him and sometimes...in the funniest and most amazing of places.

Find yourself, and find her.

Good luck, eh!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey D&H, I'm a left-coaster too! As I submitted that reply I was thinking "I bet some people think this is seasonal affective disorder". Maybe it is, but my mood is actually pretty good. Like I said I am not seeking pity at all, just understanding.

I think I can see quite clearly, and from what I can tell my unhappiness so far seems to correlate, and maybe stem from feeling like I fail at relationships, and that I am doing something wrong that has caused me to not connect like I feel I'm supposed to or should want to. Always thinking that if I can find myself i will find her (and thinking I had found her in my exW then lost her, and myself)

I've always fought just letting go, and tried to feel belongingness, my path is not preparing and waiting, that has always been my way and it hasn't worked, nor never worked, what I'm considering now is that, maybe for me I don't need any more belongingness, that I already have it and just have to accept it is for what it is, even if unsatisfactory according to my ideal expectations that I've never been able to realize.

I think for me this thread was started in the spirit of having found a part of myself.
 

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Happiness comes from within, nothing external will ever bring more than delusional happiness. At the end of hours here on this rock spinning at the far end of the milky way, we are alone...we start and finish in the same way.
And suffering is universal, the rich, the poor, the sick, the healthy all suffer in their own way, but to each they feel that they suffer. The root cause of all suffering is selfishness.
Who are 'we' in the midst of all this life around us?
We are just here, spinning at 700 MPH with everything interconnected to us. There is nothing anyone of us does that doesn't affect the other, there is no singular relationship, we just are.
So I agree with you, forget about your "ideal expectations" and just accept you for who you are in the moment.
Accepting who you are, finding that part of yourself is a wonderful thing to have done!
The path continues, stick to the middle if you can, do your best. And then, that path will lead to whatever it is your intentions are guiding you to.
But be aware of what your intentions are.
 

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It's a path, Lon. You're in the shadow right now, and that's okay. Give yourself some space to let life unfold and change itself and your mindset. When you meet someone else who is on the path, that's where you'll find fulfillment and partnership. You will still feel everything you feel now and felt in the past, but you'll be able to relate better to it to someone who is of like mind/body/spirit. By consistently putting your energy in a certain direction, and walking that way, you will find that over time, life can and does change. Remember the story of the blue moon, lol. You are right, though, nothing is forever. We live in a time/space continuum. Born, live and die. What you do on the way to death, does in fact matter. Make sure whatever you do really reflects your core values. Even, or most importantly, in the smallest way, whether you are in a relationship or not. There is always yourself you have to answer to, so don't dismiss yourself from your own life.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, I've always been in the shadow, what I'm saying now is that yeah, I am on the path, I've always been on the path, and I am happier to be alone and know that I am alone instead of hoping to run into someone like I've always thought I should be waiting for. I don't want anyone on this path with me, nor do I want to put my energy in a certain direction, I just want to keep putting my energy in the direction I have been and let go of the guilt for failing at not being able to change myself or make some kind of relationship to another on my path. My life so far has never changed at all over time, only some of the minor details of things in it. I've always answered to myself but I've always been unhappy with the answer, so I'm not dismissing myself from my life, I'm dismissing everything else from it.
 

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So to understand: you are on a path but that path has never nor will have room for two?
You mentioned an EX, is it possible brother that the way you are speaking now is the result of that past relationship, that these words you are sharing are those of a man still resolving?
Or are you testifying to all that a man can be an island unto himself?
"No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee."
John Donne
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The way I'm speaking now feels like something that has been manifesting for a long time but hasn't been given the chance to be allowed out because I've always felt it was the wrong way - and believe me I am stubborn about being right.

yes absolutely I am resolving, but not just from my marriage and divorce but from all my relationships (what few there have been, but also the many random encounters with strangers and the casual friendships in between).

I'm thinking that I am an island, but not one unto myself, this island has a port that allows comings and goings of people and things, one that has felt participation with the continent has brought mostly guilt and undesirables, though a few precious items as well. I am tired of caving into the pressure to leave that port open, i put this pressure on my self, but also take social cues such as the the poem you recited.

Well I think I want to dismiss the social clues because they guide me along a path of dependence on others, others that would surely be there if I hit rock bottom but not when I am simply stuck half way up. I don't need the safety net I just need the help climbing to the next rung sometimes.

I find the patronization unbearable, I don't want to be preached to about the splendors of life, I can see many people feasting on those all around me... I subsist on crumbs and have always been content to, if life gives me more I will accept it, but feasting on the splendors in life has never been my dream. I pretty much just want to be left to my crumbs because it is peaceful. And until now I guess I believed that was the wrong way, if someone wants to join me eating crumbs that is ok, but bring your own crumbs, I'm not greedy but I honestly don't want to put myself in a spot where I feel guilty getting by on the minimum.
 

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I like your reference to the port! Especially being from Vancouver!! As you and I see everyday, we are subject to the influx of the world here out West, mostly that of the Pacific Rim and the Eastern Shores beyond.
And your reference alludes to , "...guilt and undesirables...". For sure I can understand this point, I often refer to many I come to find tying up their craft to my port as being "cannon fodder".
The flotsam and jetsam of humanity tend to wear on me as well! Patience in regards to the ways of others has been something I am skilled at but it doesn't mean I don't notice their infallibility.
I have a friend who like your self I think, tends to tire easily of the masses and those that he "must" deal with.
All I suggest by saying any of this is that you are not alone.
Another poet said, " Strange what desire makes foolish people do!" And in fact, I agree so much with that quaint statement.
If by "patronization" you refer to what I am saying in this forum, please pardon me for that.
If you are happy at the minimum then that's where you should be. No need to feel guilt. Just dust in the wind. I have ample but with that comes all the problems, I remember a simple time in my life, younger, free of the burdons of bullishness. I crave that easier way, to exist but for what I need and enjoy the leftovers as a bonus.
Of course, inking the Divorce is about to send me there anyway!!
But I don't care, for myself I am blessed with a companion now, whose very breath excites me and charges my nervous system!!
And also, the benefit if knowing now what I never knew before, that in fact there was a woman suited to me exactly out there...and now she is with me...we are interdependant.
Never thought that would happen ever.
Still can't beleive it.
 

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No, I've always been in the shadow, what I'm saying now is that yeah, I am on the path, I've always been on the path, and I am happier to be alone and know that I am alone instead of hoping to run into someone like I've always thought I should be waiting for. I don't want anyone on this path with me, nor do I want to put my energy in a certain direction, I just want to keep putting my energy in the direction I have been and let go of the guilt for failing at not being able to change myself or make some kind of relationship to another on my path. My life so far has never changed at all over time, only some of the minor details of things in it. I've always answered to myself but I've always been unhappy with the answer, so I'm not dismissing myself from my life, I'm dismissing everything else from it.
To me, that sounds like the picture of good mental health.

You should never feel guilt at being yourself.
Being yourself is a very important part of the structure of the world as it should be. Would that everyone would make a firm commitment to self.

It's a 'good' stable, not bitter, but accepting.
Your post at first sounded a little bitter, but in the context of this, sounds reasonable. I also have the sense of not being very much different than I was as a kid. I think once you've been in that place for a while and it's second nature again, it will be easier to relate to others, and to identify people who are also in that place, and to have safe relationships, whatever they are...friends, neighbors, coworkers, family, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
HNU, it sounded bitter because I don't think me, or others reading this, are really keen on people "setting their sights low" but I'd rather set my sights low than continue trying to aim high and miss. I'm not an ambitious person, and that makes me feel guilty. And yes I am still trying to resolve that with the hurtful words my ex W innocuously attacked me with when she left me. I felt so inferior... and my goal is: even if I am inferior I don't want to feel like I am. It's not that my ex W's ideals are what counts here, its that those were my ideals before too, and with life I'm realizing that maybe I should scale my ideals back a little - I said in another thread about my biggest character flaw is that I'd rather be right than happy, and so maybe this thread is about me adjusting my grip on that view.
 

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Not everyone is relationship material. With any luck you find a woman is like minded, wants an occasional evening together but generally also good at being alone. I have a friend like this. Problem is, that being alone thing makes it hard to find someone like that!

That isn't my path. My path involves a husband and family and give and caring all that I can. I have so much to give and no one to give it to - very frustrating. But I don't want to settle, either. It has take a long time (8 years) but could be longer if this relationship doesn't work out. I hope it does - it will take me a while to get back on the horse if I'm bucked again but I refuse to become bitter or jaded so I'm going to keep looking. That's my path. It's not right or wrong any more than yours is. It's just mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Enjoli, I'm glad you know what you want from life - but I think society places too much importance on that, as if everyone should share that same ideal.

I am coming to accept that maybe I'm just not relationship material, and though it sounds like a failure at first, it is actually a relief, except like you say for overcoming the loneliness. I mean I still have sex and companionship needs, but they are not getting met, because I have been seeking something I just am not really capable of grasping or holding onto. Nor do I want to settle for someone I am not truly attracted to - its just there is no strong attraction to anyone (physically, yes, but personality wise it's like non-ferrous metal trying to attract a weak magnet - seems weak magnets will always be pulled to the strong magnets first)

I just wish there were more people like your friend who accepted that, and I wish society would accept that. Because for me, I just don't think I could really feel secure in a relationship with a person who has impossibly high expectations - would feel like a ticking time bomb and as soon as I drop the ball once it would be doing irrepairable damage to the relationship. It would breed resentment. I'm not looking for lazy incompetent people to surround myself with, just people that have realistic expectations of what they can accomplish in their life. And I'm not willing to risk several more years of my precious life on those kinds of odds.

The reason I am trying to identify this path of mine is also to avoid becoming bitter or jaded, I'm trying to find a way to sweeten it, without having a whole lot of sugar.
 

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Ive been thinking about whats stopping me from getting out there and hooking up. I think for now its laziness? Purposeful laziness? I simply dont want to put all that effort into something other than myself right now. Still getting into the groove of who I am after so long of trying to be a good husband. Screw expectations.. when someone comes along I have a feeling we're going to be drawn to them despite ourselves and all this worry.
 

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Someone told me a story once, about a guy that wasn't married. He did not want to be married or in a relationship. He had a decent job. He lived life. He had hobbies. Once a month he would treat himself to a hooker. He did it legally. There are a few places you can do that. He was happy. He just lived his own way. I'm not condoning this. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this. Just sharing a story.
 

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Hey Enjoli, I'm glad you know what you want from life - but I think society places too much importance on that, as if everyone should share that same ideal.

I am coming to accept that maybe I'm just not relationship material, and though it sounds like a failure at first, it is actually a relief, except like you say for overcoming the loneliness. I mean I still have sex and companionship needs, but they are not getting met, because I have been seeking something I just am not really capable of grasping or holding onto. Nor do I want to settle for someone I am not truly attracted to - its just there is no strong attraction to anyone (physically, yes, but personality wise it's like non-ferrous metal trying to attract a weak magnet - seems weak magnets will always be pulled to the strong magnets first)

I just wish there were more people like your friend who accepted that, and I wish society would accept that. Because for me, I just don't think I could really feel secure in a relationship with a person who has impossibly high expectations - would feel like a ticking time bomb and as soon as I drop the ball once it would be doing irrepairable damage to the relationship. It would breed resentment. I'm not looking for lazy incompetent people to surround myself with, just people that have realistic expectations of what they can accomplish in their life. And I'm not willing to risk several more years of my precious life on those kinds of odds.

The reason I am trying to identify this path of mine is also to avoid becoming bitter or jaded, I'm trying to find a way to sweeten it, without having a whole lot of sugar.
I think its less about what society accepts and more about logistics!!! Hard to meet someone if you don't get out and look. And hard to meet someone who likes to stay at home and isn't really looking - even if you DO get out and look!

When the divorce rate is 50% (at least here in America) - it's not a gamble that I see myself taking again - at least not anytime soon.

I understand what you are saying - I think.

The only part I didn't like was you saying that you are content to eat crumbs and set your sites low. Do you mean in relationships or life in general?

I think we can still be happy - especially those of us near that Mid-Life stage. A good career, spending time with our kids and continuing as good parents, and perhaps having a few good friends of either gender sounds like enough for many people.

I don't think you sound depressed - but perhaps a bit jaded - and for good reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The only part I didn't like was you saying that you are content to eat crumbs and set your sites low. Do you mean in relationships or life in general?
This is what I meant when I suggested it is bothersome to others, or makes them uncomfortable to discuss. I mean life in general... I am saying I'm not going to settle just to have a relationship, or just to get something that may be of some value, and conversely I'm not going to try to continue holding high standards just to be let down continuously - I am going to embrace being alone and I'm going to embrace being average because it is what I have and what I know I can rely on, and so I can't let myself down. At times better things may come along and I will embrace those but I need to stop pinning my worth onto continuosly striving to be more than I was yesterday, because all that wasted mental effort really has been turning to jade in my mind.
 

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I don't think anyone should choose something that makes them feel worse, or sets them up to fail.

Make a choice, and embrace it. I believe once you are at peace with the choice, all the stuff you worried about happening in turn becomes more likely to happen.

Don't gauge whether you are setting your sights high or low. Hell, don't set any sights if that is what you are comfortable with ... but at the same time, don't judge yourself over what you do or do not choose.

Jeez I hope that makes sense. I just reread it and sounds a bit Yoda-ish.

I'm satisfied with being content. I don't beat myself up over whether or not I'm pursuing happiness. In sum, I get what you are saying. Just make sure YOU are truly OK with what you're saying.
 

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In your words I read a sense of just 'being' at the moment.


I keep writing sentences and then backspacing. Maybe I should just agree with Deejo.

I guess if you are at peace with aspects of yourself, and it isn't stemming from a place of sadness or fear, then embrace it. If it isn't really from a contented acknowledgement, then maybe so be it for that as well if this is where you're at. It seems various illusions and expectations have dissipated........and that leaves you with the opportunity to consider yourself and embrace being content in who you are and everything you're not.
 

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I'm not sure you're the only one who is marriage/relationship finished.

I do not plan on EVER marrying again; I see no reason to, no upside to it. I will not have more kids, so therefore marriage is not a necessity.

I don't want to live with someone because I'm TIRED of accommodating and compromising on a DAILY basis. If that makes me selfish, then so be it, I'm selfish. So what? I don't care!

What I want is friends I can laugh and have fun with WHEN I WANT to go out. Other times (majority of the time) I would rather stay home and read. Alone, unbothered. I want to find someone who enjoys sex and is UNSELFISH about it. I want to get together when we BOTH agree to, enjoy it, then walk away and go back to our own homes the next morning. No 'forever', no 'this is love', no 'something more'. Just sex. Good sex, fun sex, but JUST sex.

Maybe in 6 months, or a year, or 5 years I'll feel differently. Maybe not. I would bet on not, but obviously I can't tell the future (or I'd *OWN* that winning lotto ticket).

The older I get, the more I believe that I would function better in a series of monogamous relationships. Not one FOREVER relationship, not bed-hopping; just one guy for as long as it's good, then move on alone.

And that thought does not SADDEN me, it brings me peace.
 
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