Random Relationship Derailment Thread

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
7Wannabe5
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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:23 am

It is also the case that this problem gains an extra dimension, or two, in situations where mature adults who previously formed families are attempting marriage, or similarly significant relationship, again. So, for instance, in addition to the spaces suggested above, "rooms" in which relationships with children from previous relationships can be conducted must also be allotted. This is very evident at certain junctures, such as the holidays, in which I have found myself scheduling time and place to celebrate and carry forward traditions with my family of origin "the sister's party" , my own adult children "small dinner on Xmas eve", and my more or less SO. My kids, rightfully, do not necessarily want to share our traditions, or open any level of intimacy, with Mom's BF. But, unless he has other "rooms" himself to tend, Mom's BF might feel a little left out if all he gets is a plate of left-over my special recipe corned beef with apples and cabbage on March 17th.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:42 am

Jean wrote:I agree. Idealy, i would like a forest patch, where each family member would have its own hut, and there would be a common hut. It's great to be invited by your partner or inviting her.
Running joke with my BF is whether or not he will sell me a small section of his acreage in which I will live in something like a hut.

Often people imagine polygyny being conducted "harem" style, but it is much more frequently the case that each female has her own household or "tent" which the husband visits. This will probably raise some hackles, but I always remember a scene from some work by John Updike in which the mid-century modern male protagonist is thinking to himself that it will be okay, or fair, to leave his wife for another woman if he gives her the house, and I kind of think that is true. Of course, my perspective might be tainted by the fact that my ex bailed on our agreement that he would pay half the mortgage until our DD16 graduated from high school. OTOH, my current BF did basically give his ex-wife the house, so she could continue to raise their son there, when he basically left her for another woman. There was no 3rd party involvement in my divorce, but my ex was highly worked up about the fact that I was going out on dinner dates with men within 3 months of our split (even though he indicated no further interest in "dating" me himself) , so maybe that negated the "fair to leave her the house" rule-of-thumb in his mind. Dunno.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Ego » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:03 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:42 am
OTOH, what I obviously meant by "irked out by BobnShelly" is the vibe a couple will sometimes give off of lacking the healthy space for individuality as described above.
OTOH, today most people experience angst not from a lack of healthy space but from a lack of healthy human contact. So much so that human contact is now a luxury good. People pay to be touched by a masseuse, listened to by a therapist and encouraged by a personal coach. They pay a premium for in-person banking or in-person airline check-in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/sund ... reens.html

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:46 am

@Ego:

Absolutely agree. However, and this might be hard to understand from the perspective of a long-term healthy relationship, it has been my experience and that of many other thoughtful, well-intentioned people, that this sort of isolation can become much worse when you are "trapped" in an unhealthy relationship than when you are single. I had practically allowed myself to lapse into Romanian crib orphan syndrome by the time I finally left my cold, dead albatross of a marriage. I actually burst into tears when I found myself cuddling after sex with my first post-divorce lover.

My married polyamour was feeling so miserable and isolated prior to meeting me, on one occasion early in our relationship, he literally pinned me down with offer of back massage, and thereby basically forced me to listen to him talk about problems he was having at work with a colleague. Every time I have had sex with a divorced man in his 50s or 60s who hasn't gotten laid in approximately 2.5 years, it is like I can practically see them perk up like a plant that hasn't been watered in a long time. I know that it is not in alignment with best practicelong-term self-aware self-care to make this sort of behavior one of my semi-altruistic semi-retirement hobbies, but ...the need is out there, for sure.

Anyways, my days are full of providing personal service and/or engaging in personal interaction. I tie shoes for poor 5 year olds. I remind wealthy old men to take their medication before 5. I hand vegetables over garden fences. I talk to a colleague about her problematic divorce. I chuckle with my gardening property-equity partner when a bale of grape vines falls on his head. I cuddle in bed with my BF. I make my mother some dinner. etc. etc. etc. etc. So, one problem with modern society from my perspective is how do I figure out which of these interactions are going to result in needful cash or provision flow for me? A scant 60 years ago the answer to this question would have been fairly universal and obvious.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Ego » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:01 am

@7W, Right, but how do things get so bad? How do the plants go unwatered for so long? The people I know who experience this problems have become strangers living in the same home. That happens when each person retreats to their own space as outlined in your Pattern Language quote. That was written back in the 70s. Like you, I grew up then and personal space was a REAL problem. We had five people in a small house with one bathroom. Today those problems rarely exist outside of the refugee families you teach.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:53 am

Ego wrote:Right, but how do things get so bad? How do the plants go unwatered for so long? The people I know who experience this problems have become strangers living in the same home. That happens when each person retreats to their own space as outlined in your Pattern Language quote.
I do think that McMansions full of multiple rooms with multiple screens contribute to the problem. Obviously, a lot of it also has to do with the fact that we have all been progressively more conditioned to feel anxiety when out of our armored masculine-energy shells. Some blame this on feminism, but I think it's partially "follow the money" in terms of which entities benefit if almost all human activities are recorded on W-2 or 1099, and also partially how this relates to end-game marginal labor efficiency gains in our stretched and bloated system. For instance, just because regulations allow 1/13 adult to 2 year old child ratio does not make it right or anything resembling natural or healthy, and meanwhile all the space in the well-appointed homes where these children spend their evening and weekend hours is sitting empty?!? When I worked in such an environment, one of the saddest and sweetest interaction I would frequently witness was when the slightly older 4 or 5 year old siblings would join there age-peer isolated toddler siblings at nap-time and instinctively attempt to provide them with personalized maternal-type care.

Evidence that this is an overall socio-economic problem, and not just related to changing gender roles, is that it applies just as much to farming as child care. The ever-increasing drive towards increased linear production efficiency takes farmers away from meaningful engagement as stewards of their land, and makes them feel more like debt-ridden tools of the agro-industrial-complex.

OTOH, a space problem such as described in the Pattern Language very much applied to my second "marriage." My "husband" did give me an alcove in his home for my personal use, and our greatly differing sleep patterns gave us time to ourselves even though we were both mostly at home, but his drive to maintain functional dominance over most of the use of most of the rest of the house became intolerable to me. I can't live with my current BF in his apartment for the same reason. Sometimes this is straight-forwardly due to lack of joint ownership/equity, but sometimes it has more to do with personality type. For instance, in my first marriage, although we pooled assets completely, I had the more dominant personality, because my "ex" was seriously inadequately medicated depressive. In process of therapy, I literally sat on my hands and did not mow the lawn myself, because that was supposed to be his "turf"/job until the city finally sent tall weed notice. He would lay in bed all weekend, nursing a beer and watching French movies, while I took the kids to the pumpkin patch, painted the kitchen, and paid the bills. If/when I ventured into his territory to suggest that maybe we might have sex, he would look away or wake up briefly, and either say "Leave me alone." or "Okay, go rent some porn." I was out of there like 5 minutes after the moment I decided the kids were fully matured.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Lillailler » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:00 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:53 am
....such as described in the Pattern Language .....
Is this the book by Christopher Alexander? His 'The Nature of Order' is one of my most valued books.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by suomalainen » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:05 pm

Cats_and_tats wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:43 am
Like men who think they are the 'nice guys' who are actually creeps.
Can a woman define "creep" for me? I've tried to get a solid definition before, but the best I've been able to get from IRL women is something along the lines of "you can just tell from the way he looks at you." Which, isn't all that helpful to anyone who is not the person making the judgment.

Put aside stalkers; put aside guys who persist even after being told overtly and clearly (and verbally) "No, I'm not interested" and it seems to me from the women I've asked IRL that a "creep" is a man who shows persistent interest in a woman even after she has "put out the vibe" that she's not interested in him. Can anyone comment or clarify?

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:28 pm

Irene O’Brien and Mel Maclaine had the time of their lives on their honeymoon.

But during their 2016 trip, the Dublin-based couple didn’t share the same bed, they didn’t eat a meal together nor did they officially consummate their marriage during their honeymoon. That’s because Ms. O’Brien, 37, a stylist and writer, and Mr. Maclaine, 40, a golf and corporate photographer, took separate honeymoons, otherwise known as solomoons or unimoons.

“Neither of us wanted to be where the other one was,” Ms. O’Brien said

link
:lol:

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by prognastat » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:31 pm

If twilight/50 shades and their success have taught me anything it's that behaviour that should clearly fall into creepy can totally be romantic as long as the guy doing them is some combination of rich/handsome/in shape/stylish/suave etc.

I think the only steadfast rule is it's creepy when a man is showing interest and a women isn't interested even if she doesn't make this clear he should be able to tell and inability to do so makes you even creepier. This is further complicated by the fact that many women also seem to like "being pursued" and thus like to give off signals of resistance to a romantic advance even when they are in fact interested either to determine a guys willingness to put in the effort or not seem easy which then can lead to conflicting stories as pursuing a woman who is indirectly telling you she isn't interested could either end up with you being a creep and not pursuing it could mean ending up losing out on a chance at a relationship due to it only being a test.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jacob » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:20 pm

Much of this has already been covered in viewtopic.php?t=9430 ... IIRC, the risk-adjusted return of that inquiry was negative!

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:52 pm

Lillailler wrote:Is this the book by Christopher Alexander? His 'The Nature of Order' is one of my most valued books.
Yes, it is by Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein. Brilliant work.
suomalainen wrote:Can a woman define "creep" for me? I've tried to get a solid definition before, but the best I've been able to get from IRL women is something along the lines of "you can just tell from the way he looks at you." Which, isn't all that helpful to anyone who is not the person making the judgment.
I don't think there is a universal answer to this question, and I am likely a bit of an outlier, but when Cats_and_tats made that statement it immediately made me think of "the nice guy story.":

A young soldier and a woman became pen pals without having met. They never even exchanged photos. Their correspondence continued, and the young man was finally free to travel and meet the woman with whom he felt he had hopefully formed the basis for a significant relationship. She wrote that she would meet him on the train station platform, and she would be wearing a pink flower in her hat. When the soldier got off the train, he searched the crowd, and finally determined that the only person with a pink flower in her hat was a very homely lumpen woman who was clearly waiting to meet someone. So, although disappointed, he approached her and introduced himself and made kind inquiries. Then, much to his surprise, a beautiful young woman, also wearing a pink flower in her hat, walked on to the platform, approached them and said "You may go now, Gertrude" to the much less attractive female. Then she turned to the young soldier and smiled and introduced herself, because he had proven himself worthy through his kind behavior to her servant.

IMO, this is a creepy story, on multiple levels, and the kind of guy who doesn't get why it is a creepy story will sometimes, likely unbeknownst to him, demonstrate creepy behavior.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by suomalainen » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:54 pm

@7 I don't get it (the beautiful young woman is being a creep, right?), so I guess maybe I'm seen as being creepy when I think I'm being "nice"? This is why I just prefer straight talk.

@jacob I didn't really read that thread and I'm not trying to re-open any gender wars. It was a pretty superficial question. I was just curious if there's, like, an obvious definition that a *normal* man could apply in his own life to determine whether he's being creepy (again, aside from the obvious where a woman *tells* him she thinks he's being creepy or should leave her alone).

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by prognastat » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:26 pm

I mean I guess the attractive female pen pal is being creepy both in that it's manipulative towards the soldier and also kind of a dick towards Gertrude(aside from the whole servant thing which just makes it worse). If the guy is a creep in that story then I guess I'm in the doesn't get it camp. I mean maybe he is expecting too much to think he is going to be in a relationship from their pen pal relationship, however without knowing what they actually wrote this is kind of a moot point as based on that he could be entirely in the right or wrong for having expectations.

Hopefully this is actually the romantic tale of how Gertrude met a handsome dashing soldier who swept her off her feet when they met at the train station and lived happily ever after...

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:08 am

Hmm...I think that I didn't do a very good job of paraphrasing the story. Giving the homely servant a name was a bit of a give-away.

Anyways, I first encountered a version of this story in a relationship therapy group. Somebody seriously offered it up as advice for how young men should behave, sort of Kegan Level 2.5 version of "Goofus and Gallant."

Image

This person was oblivious to the fact that by seeking to trade "nice" behavior for beauty, the young man in the story was increasing the likelihood that he would end up with a woman who was not so nice. I have encountered a similar level of obliviousness in "Efficiency" by the WSPs, when they persistently argue that women are highly financially motivated in dating/mating*. Both of these lines of thinking can lead to a sense of entitlement and a level of blindness to the actual desires in the moment of the actual human female in the room. It's always kind of creepy when a man keeps moving forward in pursuit without ever really looking you in the eyes; and whether this lack of true contact is due to the fact that he is a "pig" who is only staring at your breasts, or a successful player who is distracted by the shiny reflection of his own ego, or the "nice" guy who is looking past you at his mirage of the ideal feminine is irrelevant.

* Again I am paraphrasing, but at some juncture in "Efficiency" the authors state that any man who doesn't think women are attracted by financial success is a man who has never been financially successful" and my immediate reaction to that was that the authors are obviously a different flavor of completely clueless, because any man who thinks that women are primarily sexually motivated by financial success must be a man who was never "naturally" sexy.

Since I am a demographically rare female representative of the Sexy Nerd (ENTP) league, what is apparent to me is that there are quite a few men in our society, almost certainly inclusive of the authors of "Efficiency", who are subconsciously playing out some kind of "Revenge of the Nerds" script in their romantic lives. So, these men dislike the sort of men who were already successfully dating very attractive girls when they were 16 years old. But, what they are neglecting to realize is that by dissing these men and their attributes, they are actually dissing some core aspects of female desire. And, the fact that the word "revenge" is right in the mix lends a never attractive lingering smell of stale acrid anger to this modus operandi.

Of course, women have their own just as f*cked up ways of being dysfunctional in dating and relationship, but that's a different topic.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jacob » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:13 am

@soumalainen - After 14 pages in the other thread---further adding to/starting the [war] issues discussed in this thread---it was largely unresolved. There's no obvious definition that a normal man could apply. The question is not "machinable" because it requires developing a theory of mind for the other gender which is nontrivial and requires more effort than normal people would apply.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by slsdly » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:08 am

@jacob, I'm not sure such a theory can be developed with sufficient effort. Knowing the cumulative effect of another person's relevant experiences, without prior knowledge of those experiences, means you will always be guessing. I discard the trivial solution of not interacting at all (in any reasonable sense, you cannot be a creep if you withdraw from society). Thus the only solution in my mind is to be charitable with yourself and others, and keep to good intentions. You are going to get it wrong, and it doesn't have to be a big deal. Someone may melt down and call me a creep because I commented on the rain storm I just escaped from, while sharing the elevator at my apartment building. That isn't really my fault for failing to predict what would overstep their boundaries. There will be some rules that are near universal, like maybe I shouldn't have that same conversation standing too close or breathing down their neck. But those rules will only getting you most of the way, not all the way.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:10 am

jacob wrote:The question is not "machinable" because it requires developing a theory of mind for the other gender which is nontrivial and requires more effort than normal people would apply.
Absolutely true, but this forum is full of people who are capable of above normal effort and comprehension. One easy suggestion that is sometimes made to women is to investigate the wide realm of popular porn with open-minded curiosity towards acceptance. One suggestion that I sometimes make to men is to read a few popular romance/erotica novels with open-minded curiosity towards acceptance. Sallie Tisdale in "Talk Dirty to Me" made some excellent observations about how men, and even capitalists!, get it wrong when they assume that what women want is what they want, but with a sugary coating of romance applied. That's why Playgirl and most attempts at female or couples market oriented porn proved unprofitable.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:18 am

@Suo/jacob -- I dunno, I think it's possible to identify some behaviors that creep most women out beyond the obvious stuff. There are for me, anyway. I'd say any suggestion of or display of power over a woman (sex excepted if agreed upon) might set off her creep alarm. I mean like a boss making a casual joke about having control over the woman's job or promotion. Or a guy locking a door or pulling a car over to talk, or standing between her and her apartment or car door, even if done with innocent intentions.

Displays of power would also include any behavior that feels like stalking, even if it's meant innocently like hanging out at a bar a woman frequents to try to run into her again. It might work once, but after that it would feel like being watched. It could also mean following the woman on social media or joining groups she belongs to before it's appropriate (meaning before she suggests it).

Think about the ways women have had power over you, like weaponizing sex. Does that creep you out in some way? (what's the female equivalent of 'creep'?) I know some women will be extra nice or accommodating, including sexually, when a guy drops money on them. I'm only guessing, but I bet a warning bell would go off for most of the guys here in that situation, even if the woman was doing everything right on paper. That means women, too, have to be careful not to appear creepy, however innocently.

I think the instinctual response in women is probably stronger though because of the added safety factor. It probably doesn't seem fair (to the guys) but women are still usually the victim in such situations, even if that's slowly changing.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Jean » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:14 am

A woman displaying submission, without you feeling you deserves it?

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