Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Where are you and where are you going?
suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

Oh @nuuka, maybe some day you’ll be able to get out of that head of yours and see the beautiful nuance that exists in this world.
Vaikeasti wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 am
Depression says that you're tired and need to rest when you're really missing on positive emotions.
@vaikeasti, Yes, this is exactly it. I don’t need a job or my wife or anyone else to make me feel good about myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin. But what these recent thoughts/experiences have shown me is that I haven’t been feeding a very important part of my soul - the part of my soul that misses these certain positive emotions of connection and understanding and love and intimacy. I didn’t do anything drastic. I started a conversation with my wife that went “Our relationship is stale. We’re living parallel lives. We don’t understand each other. I am lonely in this marriage. This can’t continue. What now?” Can I find intimacy and connection outside of my marriage? Absolutely. I work very hard on my friendships, actually. But I also want it IN my marriage. If that’s not possible, fine, let’s call it a friendship or a co-parenting relationship or something else, but it’s not a marriage, not to me anyway. These are difficult conversations to have, yes, and they are consciously difficult, but NOT having the conversation was also difficult - sub- or unconciously difficult. I’m for truth and openness and, yes, courage to bring these things to the light so open, honest, conscious decisions can be made. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to just survive any more. I want to live, and love.

@jp Appreciate that. I’ve never been one to really care if what I’m going through is common or not. It’s not common to me, so I am fine forging my own path...of course, I obviously seek counsel and advice from those who have gone before, but ultimately I (and not the advice givers) am the only one who has to live with the consequences of my choices. And anyway, as you can read above, there’s no house burning occurring, just very difficult conversations.

Nuuka
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Nuuka »

Here are some thoughts that come to mind

When you suggested your wife budget for your household, she could have interpreted that her role is housekeeper-wife
Now what you told her, she could have interpreted that she is not enough for you. So she could think her new role being imposed as housekeeper.
As much I understand women, she propably now thinks that she can no more trust you and anything you say. And that she feels emotionally and financially unsafe.

Next thing she logically would do is to seek advice from someone she can trust. But she may not be able to think logically because of the immense stress of the situation. She may now be in very vulnerable state of mind.

Optimist: glass is half full
Pessimist: glass is half empty
Suo: I, me and myself

Peanut
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Peanut »

Everyone is lonely. That's just the human condition. It doesn't matter if you have the best marriage, or kids, or work life anyone has ever had. You're still going to be lonely. It doesn't mean you can't be happy. Resiliency is a term that is used frequently here. Well what about this--happiness is a form of mental and emotional resiliency. Strive for that.

If you want to improve your relationship there are scientifically proven methods. Do something adventurous together that is new for you both. Go somewhere, or volunteer somewhere, or learn something or build something. Together.

IME ultimatums rarely work the way you want them to.

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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by jacob »

Nuuka wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:23 pm
But there are some disorder sowing people that create selective chaos intentionally but they are not stupid. I think you may have encountered people with various degree of narcistic or sociopath or even psychopath behaviour charasteristics. These are really difficult to notice and deal with. They can please you in the beginning and show their true face later. Basically their strategy is to create chaos, put the blame on others, then when others beg for help, they stop causing the chaos and continue knowing that they are now in control. Same will happen again if they need boost to their weak self image. Basically this is child needing care from mother and getting always the attention by crying (chaos sowing) and never learned where is the border between self and mother. These peple are ruthless since they have no internal sense of empathy. This is why they can do well in business world (until they are isolated by everyone running out or building shields around).
That has to be the most succinct description of a "very stable genius" I've ever read, but I digress ...

Anyway, in terms of management, I've found Cipolla's essay on The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity to be very helpful. Lacking basic intuition about other humans and thus being driven to classify based on a system (sorry, @Ego) I rank it up there with MBTI and IQ. My conclusion as a corollary of the 5th law has been to avoid "stupid people" as much as possible---and that it's worth it to pay even a high price to do so (also see Dilbert Principle---the bandit solution to stupid). The other three categories can be "managed" and such management might even provide a certain level of satisfaction, but "stupid" is just fractal damage.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by classical_Liberal »

I think, in conversations like the one you initiated, the devil is truly in the details. Meaning, exactly how you bring these things up will set the tone for how both of you move forward. Given what I know of you through this journal, I would bet you've broached this subject with your wife in a positive, self-aware way. So I wish both of you luck as you work through this.

As a rule I avoid any family or relationship advice. However, since you used me as an example, I do want to point out that I've only been with my GF for 2.5 years, i'm guessing your relationship is nearing a couple of decades. Part of the reason I act immediately in difficult situations in my relationship is because of mistakes I've made in the past, failed relationships. Also because I've learned from others experiences (your journal being one) as well. We (my relationship) do not have years of emotional baggage that, in my youth, I had allowed to build up in previous relationships. So, it's easier to deal with issues in real time vs having negative emotions from something that happened years ago that was never addressed. I definitely did not handle things very well in when I was younger. Believe me, if i was in a relationship with the same person from years ago, I would have a shit-ton of mistakes to make up for. I guess I'm just saying don't be too hard on yourselves.

On the subject of life review and mid-life crisis. I did not have kids. At first it "just happened", but in my mid to late 30's it became a conscious decision. Something I did not want to do. Still, I often feel a hole. Like having a family is something every healthy man should do to feel like life has meaning. It's not constant gnawing, but it comes into my head pretty regularly. So, just an FYI, at this age (mid-life), no matter how you decided in the past, there will be some regrets. There is no perfect life and the grass will always seem greener. That being said, I think what you are doing, in taking control of your destiny with very active decisions, will make you feel much better about your life in the long term. It's easier to accept a failure (should that happen and it often does) if you very consciously and actively made a decision to take a path, than it is if you just followed a path laid out to you where you feel little agency in the decisions that lead you. IOW, it's easier to accept life, in all its imperfections, when I decided this, not that. Than it is to wake up and realize I decided nothing consciously, and here I am.

Smashter
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Smashter »

Peanut wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:43 am

If you want to improve your relationship there are scientifically proven methods. Do something adventurous together that is new for you both. Go somewhere, or volunteer somewhere, or learn something or build something. Together.

IME ultimatums rarely work the way you want them to.
I dunno, seems like they built a family together, they probably have volunteered at church together, and they have traveled together. How is having a tough conversation about what he truly wants such a bad thing?

I don't know what this whole situation is like on Suo's kids, but I can say that I wish my parents had gotten a divorce when I was 8 instead of waiting until I was 28. Kids can tell these things. Not that I am predicting a divorce here, just trying to say that there are some relationships that run their course and it would be better for all involved to find a new way of doing things.
Last edited by Smashter on Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ego
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Ego »

suomalainen wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:17 am
I started a conversation with my wife that went “Our relationship is stale. We’re living parallel lives. We don’t understand each other. I am lonely in this marriage. This can’t continue. What now?” Can I find intimacy and connection outside of my marriage? Absolutely. I work very hard on my friendships, actually. But I also want it IN my marriage.
Forgive the stereotype but lawyers often try to solve problems that require action by talking rather than doing.

If you want a more intimate, connected marriage then you need to take a chance and introduce intimacy. You will probably be rebuffed at first. Keep at it. There are a million guides on how to build intimacy in a relationship.

Stop talking and start doing.

Also, some people introduce problems like this into their relationships because they are bored or lonely or angry or frustrated.... and playing the relationship chess match where they strategize and plot and scheme to win... relieves to boredom. Lawyers are trained to manipulate, convince, win. When they apply their training to their personal life they lose.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

@cL gets it.

@smashter is kinda where I’m at.

@peanut and @ego say true things, just not applicable to this exact situation. I’m not a closed-off, non-intimate man. I’ve been BEGGING for this for 18 years (probably pathetically at times and not pathetically at other times). Two ships, etc. We’ve done the couples therapy, etc. Not like I/we haven’t been trying. And trying. And trying. Read @cL’s thoughts about baggage and you’ll get it.

@nuuka, thx very helpful. Hope you feel better.

Peanut
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Peanut »

@smashter: Just look up the studies on this they are easy to find. It’s about adrenaline and synapses etc. Yes they have done a shitload of stuff together in the past. I am talking about the present and the future.

And from my perspective many people say their parents should have divorced (earlier) but that’s all speculative. Unless you really believe it could not have been any worse than it was. Because generally things can always be worse and divorce is pretty much a guarantee that those scenarios play out. Is it better for them to play out when kids are in the home or out?

Sorry for the aside, suo. Talking and therapy is not productive for you guys, it’s clear. Why not try something else.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by EdithKeeler »

I have zero to offer re relationship advice. All I can say is I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know you mentioned couples therapy, but I can’t recall if you’ve done therapy on your own. If not, might be helpful to have a handful of appointments to talk through this stuff with a professional. Just to get a different perspective.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

@peanut I don't know what kind of relationships you've been in, but if we stop talking...it's over. I mean, it might be over anyway if we can't figure out how to "talk better", but not talking at all, shit...

@ek I think I've spent 1.5 jacobs on personal therapy. I know there's a bias towards "stick together", but...I dunno...at what point do you say "I've done enough"? Is 18 years enough? Would 20? 30? 50? How much self-flagellation must one endure before it's socially acceptable to leave? I assume the answer is "infinity", so I'm just going to do what I can and, you know, if it's better to put the energy into being good co-parents as opposed to life partners, then so be it.

Yay relationships.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by EdithKeeler »

Only you can decide what’s best for you, and it’s good that you’ve had some private head shrinking, just so you know all the angles, the pros and cons, and will be okay with your decision, whatever happens.

I think there probably is a bias for staying together, because the status quo is always easier. Easier for the kids (unless there’s constant fighting and abuse—that’s a different deal), easier re the money and property, easier re the social network, easier for the parents and in laws.... because there’s no guarantee it’ll be better after the split. How many times do we have in our mind the way we think it’ll be, and the reality is much different. The new guy farts in bed, too, the new chick is a slob, etc.

But people change, go in different directions.... it happens. Life is too short to be truly miserable. What percent of bad stuff makes the relationship a total loss? Only you can know. Good luck.

Peanut
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Peanut »

I don't mean stop talking to each other. I mean try not talking to each other (or for that matter, anyone else) about your relationship. Do something together without the kids and talk about that instead. I don't know what you like to do. But it could be anything and something new is perhaps better. Something new with adrenaline is perhaps better still. Indoor skydiving, that kind of shit. Real skydiving. That way you'll figure out if there are ways that you can relate to each other that is enjoyable and energizing for both of you. It's real basic on some level. Like, can you enjoy each other's company? Once you're sure you can I think things can fall into place.

Me, I've been with DH more than half my life. I remember when we went back to the opera for the first time in a long time after moving to a new city. It was crazy to be nervous and not know quite how to act. It was the setting, being alone after not having been alone together for a long time after having our first kid, all of that. Like a reintroduction. The foregoing examples are $$$ but of course there are many free activities that can do the same work. Way back when he suggested we get CPR certified together. I still remember him accidentally popping off the baby doll's head... And I think volunteer work can be a great bonding experience. Serving shelter dinners with your kids. Look around and you will see most of the men there seeing you and your family as an unattainable fantasy.

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fiby41
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by fiby41 »

Peanut wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:43 am
IME ultimatums rarely work the way you want them to.
Ultimatums are a declaration of powerlessness.
Smashter wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:01 am
How is having a tough conversation about what he truly wants such a bad thing?
I can not negotiate genuine desire.
seems like they built a family together, they probably have volunteered at church together, and they have traveled together.
If I assume this gives him relational equity he couldn't feel discontent about staleness in the same breath.

SUOMALAISEN can look up 'Rian Stone married dread game' on YouTube.

Nuuka
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Nuuka »

I will now assume role of Devils Advocate

< begin Devil’s Advocate >
Nuuka wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:23 pm
But there are some disorder sowing people that create selective chaos intentionally but they are not stupid. I think you may have encountered people with various degree of narcistic or sociopath or even psychopath behaviour charasteristics. These are really difficult to notice and deal with. They can please you in the beginning and show their true face later. Basically their strategy is to create chaos, put the blame on others, then when others beg for help, they stop causing the chaos and continue knowing that they are now in control. Same will happen again if they need boost to their weak self image. Basically this is child needing care from mother and getting always the attention by crying (chaos sowing) and never learned where is the border between self and mother. These peple are ruthless since they have no internal sense of empathy. This is why they can do well in business world (until they are isolated by everyone running out or building shields around).
Does Suo’s behaviour match the above description? Suo is feeling low, so he needs boost, so he creates chaos situation in his marriage. Mrs Suo tries to cope by building a shield. Suo notices increased lack of intimacy due to shield.

A new round will come when Suo feels low again. ... Next round the shield will come up a little bit more

Suo: how was your relationship with your mother?

< end Devil’s Advovate >

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen »

Oh jesus some of you are just...so...missing...the...point... To those that aren’t, I appreciate your thoughts and empathy. I wasn’t really looking for advice, as I know what to do and how to do it. It just sucks. So I came here to express that it sucks. If you can’t understand what I’m going through or what I’m trying to say, that’s ok. Maybe Daylen could pop in here and type everyone and explain why some can’t see me. Be that as it may, I debated whether to post something so intimate, knowing that it could turn into a shitshow, but I did it for two reasons: 1) it’s real, why hide it, and 2) there are SERIOUS financial implications (on the order of $1 million in a certain accounting)...but some things are more important than money. Or, looked at another way, I am in a financial and skill position that I could make two households work, so money doesn’t control my choices. This is (mental and financial) freedom - to consciously choose my path through life.

C’est la vie.

fingeek
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by fingeek »

Thanks for sharing. Sometimes we just need to vent, and have someone to listen.

Augustus
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Augustus »

I think you and I, and a few others on this forum, are hitting what might be termed as a "mid-life crisis" (substitute your word of choice that carries less baggage) all at the same time. It's kind of interesting. I was sitting and wondering why I've been so anxious and blue lately, especially after my peak happiness event earlier in the year. I've realized two things in my ruminations.

One, is that there is a bunch of shit that I feel is "wrong" right now in my life and I'm not happy about, it's not just one thing, and it's tempting to conflate or only focus on one aspect my problems even though it's counterproductive. On my end I've managed to stress myself the hell out with money and work pressure, and the emotional response to that is spilling over into other areas of my life, which is not good and I'm trying to correct.

Two, which it sounds like you may be feeling, is that I've run out of dreams (I read that in another journal a day or two after I had independently come to the same conclusion). I was sitting and thinking what's the purpose of life? What I came up with is that I aspire to certain ideals, dreams I call them, such as family, being kind, starting a business, surfing, etc. Taking those dreams and giving them life gives me purpose. At this point in my life I've either accomplished a lot of them or I've left them by the wayside because I either don't want them or I don't believe them anymore. I realized that I've run out of dreams. Objectively I should be totally thrilled, if I went back to chat with my 20 year old self, who wanted to accomplish these dreams, he'd be patting me on the back and telling me I did an amazing job. But that's not what's happening, instead I feel aimless and depressed by it, I've been questioning everything, and I feel adrift.

A concept I've developed over the years is mental "traction" to reality. When you feel like you know what you're doing, when the model in your head matches what you're seeing, and it's easy to make decisions and you feel in control. I've lost that mental traction at this point, and it's really dispiriting. A lot of times lately I just feel out of control. There is no right decision that I can think of to make to fix things.

I've got no specific advice for you. A few things have been helping me though. I read about the concept of Ikigai, which is at least helping on a day to day level. I've run out of big goals in life for the moment, things that take multiple years to achieve, and I don't really feel inclined to pick up any more right now, so I've been switching focus to really reveling in the enjoyment of certain things/moments throughout the day. My overall mood may be anxious, but I can enjoy the hell out of a good cup of coffee, or hugging my kid or wife, and I do. Rome may be burning, but my coffee is fantastic and I love my family. It helps.

One interesting thing that helped my marriage feel a lot closer and more tightly connected, I was feeling distant for a while too, was actually my extreme anxiety over the past couple of months while I was looking for new work. It made me REALLY grateful to have wife and kid, while I was feeling shitty and anxious about my career and money woes.

To go full circle, if there's a bunch of shit in your life that's stressing you out and making you feel bad, it might not be your marriage that's the problem. Your marriage might be collateral damage. If you fixed some of that other stuff, it might change your view on the marriage overall. I'd also be careful even saying the word "divorce," that might put both parties in the defensive, thinking about how each party will defend themselves and how they can be okay on their own, which is going to do the opposite of trying to make you both try to feel closer. You mentioned in the past that you're emotionally closed off, maybe you just need to explain to your wife how shitty you're feeling right now about everything overall instead, that puts her in a position to try and help you, and it feels good knowing that someone has your back when life seems intent on breaking you down. You're the one that has to live through it though, you gotta do what you gotta do. If you lived in a paid off house, part timing as a ski instructor or some other sport you enjoyed, and had no money worried, would you still be thinking divorce?

These are complex problems with no simple easy to arrive at solutions. The number of variables involved make it practically impossible to predict what will happen, and there's no way to go back and undo mistakes. Yay relationships!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

But what these recent thoughts/experiences have shown me is that I haven’t been feeding a very important part of my soul - the part of my soul that misses these certain positive emotions of connection and understanding and love and intimacy. I didn’t do anything drastic. I started a conversation with my wife that went “Our relationship is stale. We’re living parallel lives. We don’t understand each other. I am lonely in this marriage. This can’t continue. What now?” Can I find intimacy and connection outside of my marriage? Absolutely. I work very hard on my friendships, actually. But I also want it IN my marriage. If that’s not possible, fine, let’s call it a friendship or a co-parenting relationship or something else, but it’s not a marriage, not to me anyway. These are difficult conversations to have, yes, and they are consciously difficult, but NOT having the conversation was also difficult - sub- or unconciously difficult. I’m for truth and openness and, yes, courage to bring these things to the light so open, honest, conscious decisions can be made. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to just survive any more. I want to live, and love.
Oh, I well remember when I was at similar fork in the road. However, my ultimatum was more along the lines of "If we don't start having regular sex, regular "date" nights, and working on projects together, I am outta here." Putting aside the issue of whether these sort of ultimatums towards difficult conversations, resolution, or date in divorce court "work"*, what I might suggest would be that it is unlikely that you are going to get what you want in contract renegotiations if you don't describe it more concretely. We can really only know or interact with other people through their behaviors inclusive of conversations. So, what are the sorts of scenes you imagine happening in a relationship that includes more of what you mean when you use the word "intimacy?"

I couldn't decide whether to post this bit on your thread or Gravy Train's. Ten years after I was in the phase you are in and less than 6 months after the end of my second briefer "marriage", I was on a second date with an attractive man of the sort I usually date. We were walking around downtown Detroit after dark and he was telling me an amusing story about working there in the late 70s. I was getting a bit sleepy, because my bedtime is usually before 9 PM, and I was distracted by my own thoughts, so I unconsciously put my hand out as if I expected him to take hold of it. Later he texted that he thought it was "sweet" that I made that gesture, and only then did I realize that I had made the intimate gesture, and I was a bit freaked out by that realization. My point being that there are these strands running through you, some inherent and some gained through experience interacting with others in various forms and phases of relationship, and you won't necessarily know what belongs to you "This is how I am 7 years into a relationship." or "This is how I am when I fight with an ENTP" or, even, "This is how I am walking through the city after dark with a man I momentarily forgot wasn't my husband." or what doesn't until you've visited that place more than once.

The doldrums are absolutely to be expected in any long term relationship, and mid-life crisis is absolutely to be expected in any human experiencing hormonal decline (oddly doesn't seem to happen to lifelong single men until their mothers die) in currently infertile relationship, but it is also true that more or less than that may be going wrong or going on in your marriage. It really is difficult for outsiders to judge, especially given only the written version of one half of the story.

Second question would be if you are truly committed to getting down and dirty in the crucible trying to achieve a greater state of intimacy/passion in your marriage, are you ready to do your half of the work in terms of listening to what your wife has to say on how you may be exhibiting behaviors that are making it difficult for her to achieve or desire intimacy with you? For example, one of the things my ex threw out at me (after breaking the edge off of a counter top, because he was so p*ssed" was "You are too nerdy to f*ck."

*Hindsight being 20/20, I3 years down the road from my years of marital dissolution, I would say that I wound up with the right result even though my method was half dysfunctional.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason »

Augustus wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:05 pm
I think you and I, and a few others on this forum, are hitting what might be termed as a "mid-life crisis"
May we all live long enough to help Suo work through his walker vs. wheelchair crisis.

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