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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster here.

I typically post with a ton of detail in forums. I'm going to go the shorter "reddit" type question route.

How can everything feel wrong when my children seem so right and they’re directly tied with everything? I feel like everything after my parents divorce 30 years ago is not right. Career, life, marriage, even friendships feel a wee bit off. It’s “off” almost like that was the fork in the road for the always not feeling quite right. Like there’s a parallel Universe that’s got things set properly, but the one I'm in isn't it.

I know that this general idea can be dissected to details. I've been seeing a therapist for the last 2 years, 60+ sessions. They've been weekly, then bi-weekly and have now tapered to once a month. This has been most helpful.

But looking for some thought from others who feel an off "tilt" to life.
 

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So after all that therapy what have you discovered about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So after all that therapy what have you discovered about it?
That's a very therapy like question and leads to circles for me, with this feeling. So changing it up, I'm looking for other opinions who may have a similar observation. It's more of a "shootin' the ****" type question. Looking up at the stars and saying "Why does it feel like my place in the universe is in the wrong universe?"

I'm looking to reflect off others who may feel the same type of general malaise. But right now, it's as though the pieces are almost right, but they just don't fit.
 

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That's a very therapy like question and leads to circles for me, with this feeling. So changing it up, I'm looking for other opinions who may have a similar observation. It's more of a "shootin' the ****" type question. Looking up at the stars and saying "Why does it feel like my place in the universe is in the wrong universe?"

I'm looking to reflect off others who may feel the same type of general malaise. But right now, it's as though the pieces are almost right, but they just don't fit.
Just wondering if 2 years of therapy helped you at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just wondering if 2 years of therapy helped you at all.
It has a great deal. There has been a significant amount of unpacking of long term issues which have led to some positive outcomes. But this is more of a campfire question sortof thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let me add some clarification, I'm a believer that you can't cherry pick from other people's lives. You can't say "I want that persons children" without taking on all of the other bits and pieces. That's what makes this whole thing feel odd for me. I feel like my children are 100% meant for me and my relationship with them is exceptional.

And I wouldn't have them if all the events of the past didn't lead up tho that point. But all of those events feel off and I feel like my current life is off. My children are 14 and 12 now so I've been a dad for quite some time.
 

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Sounds like you’re thinking too much. Stop. Get out of your head.
Stop focusing on the past/present and what you FEEL might be off, and start focusing on what you want your life to be like and what immediate actions can you start doing do move you inthat direction.

I’m quite certain you can identify a few positive goals that would improve your life, they don’t even have to be huge so don’t overthink that either. It’s about creating positive momentum.

You know some things that would be good for you, and that you would want for yourself/your life. Focus on small, incremental, actionable steps to move yourself in that direction. Identify a few things to start with and go execute. Stop thinking, go DO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds like you’re thinking too much. Stop. Get out of your head.
Yep, I wouldn't disagree with that. Unfortunately, the mindfulness workshops didn't help and I have a history of planning things out. Some positive side effects of that include financial independence and relative freedom, but the only thing I'd like to be free from is my own mind.
 

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I'm relatively new around TAM & don't know all the rules. I'm hoping it's OK that a woman is posting in this men's club house because the Q seems gender neutral to me.

When you feel like everything in your life is off that is too much to fix all at once. So pick one part of what's out of whack & fix that. When it re-aligns sometimes the other parts follow. When I'm feeling ambitious I address the worst or most weighty but sometimes when it's all I can do to get out of bed I deal with the easiest. When you are off, sometimes the little victories energize you & give you the motivating to tackle more stuff.

As somebody once said, make your bed every morning. It starts your day off with a sense of accomplishment.

When you have the energy / time you can look at your the parts of your whole life: health; family; marriage; work; spirituality; social issues / friends; & finances. Together they are like wedges in a wheel. When one is off, it affects your ability to function so you need to realign all of it. But like I started with you can't always fix everything at once; that can be too overwhelming. There needs to be balance but no one part of your life should dominate. They are all needed to be happy & fulfilled.

Since you have achieved the financial freedom, where do you think you are the weakest? Address that aspect of your life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm relatively new around TAM & don't know all the rules. I'm hoping it's OK that a woman is posting in this men's club house because the Q seems gender neutral to me.

When you feel like everything in your life is off that is too much to fix all at once. So pick one part of what's out of whack & fix that. When it re-aligns sometimes the other parts follow. When I'm feeling ambitious I address the worst or most weighty but sometimes when it's all I can do to get out of bed I deal with the easiest. When you are off, sometimes the little victories energize you & give you the motivating to tackle more stuff.

As somebody once said, make your bed every morning. It starts your day off with a sense of accomplishment.

When you have the energy / time you can look at your the parts of your whole life: health; family; marriage; work; spirituality; social issues / friends; & finances. Together they are like wedges in a wheel. When one is off, it affects your ability to function so you need to realign all of it. But like I started with you can't always fix everything at once; that can be too overwhelming. There needs to be balance but no one part of your life should dominate. They are all needed to be happy & fulfilled.

Since you have achieved the financial freedom, where do you think you are the weakest? Address that aspect of your life.
That's actually great feedback, and you're right. Everything perhaps seems out because there's an off balance.

The last time I experienced this, I struggled for a couple years but ultimately after I couldn't take it anymore, I quit my job, we sold the house and moved the family to another country to "step away from the forest to see the trees." That was 10 years ago, but here we are again. This was before the kids had started school so we spent a year living on the ocean before we settled back home and the kids started school.

And this time around, I've acknowledged that my daughters are the same age that I was when my parents divorced which may be shining light on issues. It was very messy and dramatic. It was also very unique.

My daughters are currently the same age I was when my family fell apart. And I seem to be associating their ages with my own life at that age and it's unsettling. It's bringing up insecurities and I'm fighting hard, through this pandemic, to make sure that my girls are experiencing the best that they can. But it's an uphill battle. When I was younger, the Internet was just beginning. It was fun, but it wasn't everything. There was no texting, no email and video games were hard and in front of the family tv. Nowadays, kids have their faces planted on their phones for everything. Socializing, gaming, media, school... Everything. And the influence from their friends and the effects of social media influencers is horrible. Young women talking about how they made $15k on Onlyfans in only 3 weeks is leading the younger kids to believe that selling their pictures online is acceptable. And maybe it's okay now. Maybe I don't get it. Women's liberation and feminism to take control of their own decisions.

Tie that to the pandemic where the kids couldn't see their friends in person for many, many months or go out and socialize (parks were even closed where I am) and I'm left with a guilt feeling that they aren't going to have have nostalgic memories of their youth, which is interesting, because my youth had negative effects on me, but I have good memories despite what, on paper, looks very messed up.

It's very conflicted and unstable.

For me, watching my daughters navigate through this time is causing challenges with my own past. And as a result, things feel like everything is off and I don't even know what/how to start dividing things out. Things are very interconnected. Hence, my comment initially that the fork in the road, for me, of feeling off was my parents divorce.

I'm not sure if this makes any sense or not.
 

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If you feel like you’re outside looking in at life then that’s exactly how most people feel.
 
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I too spend a lot of time in my own head so understand what the OP is talking about. The mind is constantly spinning so many different scenarios that you can feel displaced or disconnected from your real life. In truth I have always been envious of people who can simply live in the moment.

OP one piece of advice I will give you is life is going to happen, you can't control or wish or worry over every minute detail so need to focus on the big picture. Be a good man, a good husband and a good father, enjoy the moments, enjoy the love of your family. The present, the right here and right now is the real deal, stop focusing on the abstract ideas your mind spins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you feel like you’re outside looking in at life then that’s exactly how most people feel.
It's more like the exact opposite. It's more like I'm inside, looking outside at life. But life took a different turn.

Almost like I'm Gilligan in Superman or Mario in Ecco the Dolphin. A bird in the water or a fish on land.

I feel like the wrong player in the wrong game or a very poorly cast main character in the wrong movie.

Sortof.
 

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It's more like the exact opposite. It's more like I'm inside, looking outside at life. But life took a different turn.

Almost like I'm Gilligan in Superman or Mario in Ecco the Dolphin. A bird in the water or a fish on land.

I feel like the wrong player in the wrong game or a very poorly cast main character in the wrong movie.

Sortof.
If you have achieved financial freedom (something most don't) then you obviously have a strong mind, discipline, know how to plan, and so on. Why can't you cast yourself as the main character in your own life movie?

Are you an artist of some sort? Maybe dive into that as an outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
If you have achieved financial freedom (something most don't) then you obviously have a strong mind, discipline, know how to plan, and so on. Why can't you cast yourself as the main character in your own life movie?

Are you an artist of some sort? Maybe dive into that as an outlet.
Because my own life movie doesn't feel right. The only thing that does is my children.

So let's take my career for example. I work in high-tech. When I was in my early twenties, I realized that my career was similar to that of an athlete. There's young talent all over the place and always biting at the heels of those who are older. Hunger and youth is highly valued. Being a "family man" takes away from working into the evening. And so recognizing that, I decided to save and make hay while the sun shines. As a result, I didn't travel or eat out often with friends. Always gunning for the finish line, the "magical day" when I'd have enough money to do nothing if I chose. Be a master of my own freedom. Saving one day at a time knowing that at any time, the career may go "poof" and be gone. And it's partly because my best ability is to follow through. To remain consistent and follow the path. And I still work in my industry. And I earn a decent income.

All while others were out chasing the vacations, the cars, the bigger homes, I was chasing the passive income that my investments could generate for concern of being made obsolete. I didn't sell a business or purchase tons of rental properties with HELOC loans or mine crypto 10 year ago only to sell today. No, my story of wealth accumulation is boring. Saved as much as I could, a penny at a time from working dollars for hours for nearly 20 years.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe this is bad decision making, quite to the opposite. But that's part of the challenge. Good decision making has led to lack of stupid decisions which has led to a somewhat boring story. The obvious answer is that with financial freedom, it's time to take that story and make it interesting!

My grandfather died with money. It's because he never learned how to spend it. A true miser and very unlikeable individual.

I don't know how to take my story and make it interesting. I've had no practice. I never learned how to and even if I tried, I struggle because I don't know how to make stupid decisions. I'm responsible and a good dad. I'm a rock solid post for my daughters. Beyond that, I don't know.
 

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I am sorry that you feel this way.

Introspection seems to run very prominently with you. That is wonderful, but depending on one's experiences and views of the past, present and future, it can leave you locked in a difficult place. Things, other than my kids, just seem to be off track.....

It seems to me that there is a hollowness in you that you arent sure about, or comfortable with. You seem to have so many positive traits, but still there is a significant void, despite your successes.

Being totally new here, and not knowing how these discussions play out, I almost fear how this will "play"...but the only one I would care about playing well to would be you, so I will discount what others might think, or say.

Spiritually, how do you feel? Do you have a faith that you practice, that forms the central core of who you are, and what you are about? I would encourage you to dive into this, the one area at the center of all of us....
 

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the way i look at life, life is a mission. you are tasks to do certain things in your life and you are given people, circumstances, parents, et. now that isn't to say
we don't control our destiny, but we are given a lot of things beyond our control. so what is your life mission? being a great dad and raising great kids? being a great husband?
contributing to society and the betterment of mankind by exceling at what you do (even if it's not considered prestigious by some people)? being a good son to your parents, greater family?

my only recommendation to you is to figure out your life's mission and try your best in all aspects of it. at the end of the day, you've done your job.
(to quote peter boyle in taxi driver after robert deniro told him he gave stupid advice about his life crisis: "whatya want? i'm a cab driver!")
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I appreciate the responses.

I don't have a faith that I practice because none of them fit so far. To each their own. But I'm not opposed to the ideas presented. For example, if we take Christianity, I do believe in the lessons and think that they're really great. 7 Deadly sins are fascinating when you look at how they affect dopamine in the brain and drive in life. What we have is never enough... Thank-you dopamine!

Regarding purpose, I can hit on that one pretty quickly. My initial thought and still my thought is that my purpose is my children. To make sure that they become kind and considerate adults and ones who want to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. I want to help them achieve happiness and contentment and drive. Once they're adults, I want to continue to support them by being their unconditional support. The wind they can always count on beneath their wings. I want to make sure that they make mistakes now so that they can learn from them to learn how to recover from mistakes. When I'm wrong about something, I will specifically apologize to them. I'll say "I'm sorry" and I don't follow it up with "But..." and then ramble on about why I overreacted or got angry. I want them to know it's good to apologize and take ownership. My purpose is that the day I die, they can have a celebration of life, not a funeral and be strong enough to continue forward knowing that life is good.

But part of my struggle is that I don't know what's going to be right for the future? I see many of the kids I knew growing up who were the troublemakers. The assholes and the idiots and many of them have learned how to manipulate the system and achieve success. They're travelling the world, schmoozing the uber rich, connections in high places. These are the same guys who manipulated girls in highschool to get in their pants or cheated on their tests and got accepted into ivy-league schools. OTOH, some of them are also dead.

As I'm now 40, my stance has changed from being black and white to everything being grey areas. When I was growing up, smoking was bad. Remember those old commercials with the egg "This is your brain.. This is your brain on drugs..." Well when I was a teenager, drugs and smoking were an addiction and I totally fell into the propaganda of “drugs are bad.”

In high school, I always drove people home from parties since I had a car and didn’t drink. And I didn’t look down at those who drank but I did look down at those who did drugs and smoked. I had a hard line there. Drugs were a sign of weakness, a loss of respect and control for yourself. I was either annoyingly proud as a kid or scared to become like my alcoholic dad. Alcohol was different. I didn’t want to partake, but didn’t criticize those who did. It was a temporary “relief” and not an addiction as I understood it. And I found my place as the DD at most parties. In hindsight, I do have regrets that I didn’t drink at parties. I may have had more liquid courage or may have been more outgoing. So I was your fit in with the crowd, average, everyday normal guy. I didn’t get in trouble or do crazy things. That was left for the other kids, the ones who got the girls and had ample amounts of exploratory teen sex. In fact, I remember driving two people home one night, making out drunk in the backseat of my car. I had a crush on her. But I was “the nice guy.”

But why was I the nice guy? Maybe it was childhood trauma or maybe I'm simply wired that way?

So as a result, as my daughters get older my stance has shifted more away from "rules" and more into helping my daughters discover their own moral compass and standards. This has been a struggle because, to me, being 13 years old and posting pics online of guys grabbing their breasts or smoking hash out of a water bottle or giving themselves permanent tattoos (stick n' pokes) or doing online fashion strip shows to strangers is NOT good behaviour. But it's what their peer group is doing. But am I just being "ol man korkster" and this is just what kids do these days?

I did the right thing when I was a kid and it's led to regrets. I don't know why I was always "do the right thing korkster" but it's led to therapy. Lot's of therapy.

And so I'm forced to relive my own past and recall the mistakes I feel I made to help my daughters navigate their own path with my guidance. But who am I as a guide? I can't even get my own sh*t together.

[ADDED] Also, the irony of parenthood doesn't escape me to realize that as a kid, we all think our parents know everything and yet, in reality, they're just "winging it" too.
 

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life took a different turn.
Man, my life has taken so many unexpected turns that I should be motion sick. I never thought I would be divorced and a single Dad. But being in my mid 50's, I've learned to accept the curve balls, learn something positive from them and not to dwell on the negative. Sure I'm divorced, but I've also got two amazing kids. Things could be worse. Life is not perfect and you're chasing something you will never find if you think it is. And before you know it, it will pass you by. As a Christian, I know God has already mapped out my entire life out and it's playing out the way it is for a purpose. So I'm enjoying the ride and encourage to do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Man, my life has taken so many unexpected turns that I should be motion sick. I never thought I would be divorced and a single Dad. But being in my mid 50's, I've learned to accept the curve balls, learn something positive from them and not to dwell on the negative. Sure I'm divorced, but I've also got two amazing kids. Things could be worse. Life is not perfect and you're chasing something you will never find if you think it is. And before you know it, it will pass you by. As a Christian, I know God has already mapped out my entire life out and it's playing out the way it is for a purpose. So I'm enjoying the ride and encourage to do the same.
And I bet you've got some crazy stories to tell! That's the kicker. My life has taken very few unexpected turns. When I was 20, I figured by 40 I'd be married, children, working in my field of choice, financially independent... I had it mapped out and as such, ensured that very little would derail me from my goals. Nothing short of a few hiccups, the execution was flawless.

I'm pretty much exactly where I had planned to be. And now... It feels very off.

I played a strong, technically executed game of Super Mario on my first turn and my eye was on the finish line. Did all the jumps as I had planned, didn't do any side quests and never touched the mushrooms as I didn't need them (see what I did there?) ;-)

But I'm now in the last levels. The game is almost over. I can't go back, but don't know what other game to play.

And I'm trying to position for a better future by understanding the past. Maybe I'm dwelling, maybe it's nostalgia, but I'm trying to move forward. The only thing I can think of is to do something reckless that's outside of my character to shake things up. But I don't do those kinds of things...
 
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