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Thread: I Had An Epiphany - Long Read - Discuss

  1. #1

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    I Had An Epiphany - Long Read - Discuss

    First, I'm new here. Thanks for letting that happen.

    Secondly, I'm a 53-year old male, separated/divorced over 4 years. Father of twin teens that are the air that I breathe. Marriage ended unexpectedly, still not sure I understand why she refused to even attempt to save it. But we remain as friends and coparent very well. I'm monogamous and have dated a few women but nothing beyond a few months.

    All my life I thought I knew what "love" was. And it's what I have always looked for. But between observations, discussions with others - friends, coworkers, etc. during my marriage, and especiallly since my marriage ended - today I had an epiphany. And I'd like your thoughts on it.

    I thought love was a feeling, an emotion, that started with attraction / chemistry and grew from there. I thought it was about two people admiring and caring for each other. One always wanting the best for the other and trying to provide it. Cheerleading and supporting each other, and providing (hopefully in the right way) constructive criticism. And I thought everything else in those two lives blossomed from that.

    But what I've seen and heard, and even what's been suggested (albeit indirectly)to me by several people is that RELATIONSHIPS between men and women are more transactional than emotional. Meaning:

    Women primarily want security and material desires met. No I don't mean carte blanche shopping every day. I mean "pay / help pay the bills, move me to where I've always dreamed of living, give me a comfortable life or better. In exchange for that I can tolerate sharing a bed and having sex with you".

    Men primarily want from women their meals cooked, house cleaned, sex, and if it happens, the woman to raise the kids. In exchange for that I can tolerate your bat- craziness (and other sexist things said about women). And perhaps those few extra pounds you will gain.

    This doesn't meet the "give and take" vision of relationships that I've had since I discovered girls. No, this sounds a lot like raw barter - for tat, quid pro quo, you scratch my back . . . . trade. Transactions. BUSINESS.

    The light finally got bright enough for me to take notice today, when a coworker said he'd offered is wife $100K just to leave and never return. Seems the bartering isn't working anymore so he offered a . . . . buy out. Another type of transaction. BUSINESS.

    I looked, and am again looking for my soulmate. My partner in LIFE, not in business. Someone who will do things for me because she loves me, not because it gives her the right to expect something in return. And I would do the same for her. I thought from THAT foundation, all the other stuff - dream houses, vacations, moving to that favorite place . . . one or both staring a company . . . .the building of a LIFE and realization of dreams - had a chance of happening.

    But increasingly people seem to believe that it's about finding someone you can tolerate enough to get from them the things you want or need for yourself.

    If that's really the way it is . . . color me single for the remainder of my days. I will not settle - and certainly not for THAT.

    Discuss. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
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    Who the heck are you talking to?

    All of my girlfriends are educated, have good jobs and are self sufficient. I would say half are married and equally support the household. My male friends are seeking partners that are employed and women who they feel are their equal. They share household and child rearing responsibilities . One of my gf's has a four-month-old, and is now two months pregnant, and guess what, she works full time from home.

    I have my own money and am not seeking a man to take care of me.

    Please do not change your perspective of what love is, because I totally agree with you! BTW, my parents were married for 64 years, and had the love that you spoke of. It was a fantastic relationship filled with love, trust, and respect.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    You have odd friends and you sound so cynical. There are probably many relationships that work the way your epiphany suggests but I dont know anyone living that way. My husband and I have a very good 50/50 relationship, neither is better than the other. He helps around the house and I've been known to pull a few wrenches when needed to work on an antique car we have. Nothing is based on gender.

    We looked at 28 houses before we found our current home. I wanted a place with a big shop for him and his cars, he wanted a really nice house for me as I didnt like the previous house at all. No selfishness on either part.

    Some people genuinely get along well with their partner/spouse, not all are in it to get what they want and to hell with the other person.

    I hope you find someone who suits you.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your response. Cynical perhaps, but not by choice. And my observations / other data aren't just from my friends. I've heard people talking while in line at Chipolte, and it just seems to be a more common theme than I would have expected. For instance, I've heard couples discussing payment for things, arguing over "whose money" is going to pay for it. Married couples arguing over who pays the rent and who pays the cable bill. Where's the joint bank account? If you're married, it's OUR money, not YOUR money or MY money.

    And things like taking out the trash - your job vs. my job. Ditto laundry. Ditto yard work.

    It's like they're roomates in college, not partners in life. I just don't get it.

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  6. #5

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    Thanks for your post. Again, not just limited to my friends. But I have had a friend or two suggest that I just find someone, move in, do what she says, and be happy that I can expect a cooked meal, clean clothes, and sex whenever I need it. Friends who met and one case are still married to their wives and operate in that mode. I'd be surprised f they even kissed during intimacy. Scratch that - during sex.

    Another thing that just makes me cringe? THese couples, for their SO's birthday, Christmas, anniversary, whatever - they just tell them to go out and buy whatever they want within a given budget. Way to get to know the person you're married to.

    It's good to hear that you don't operate in the mode that I seem to be noticing everywhere. And God bless your parents for giving you one heck of an example to learn from!

  7. #6
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    Iím sorry youíre feeling discouraged.

    Not every one is only in it to get something out of you. Youíll find someone who shares your same views. Donít give up on love! The world is crazy right now and it may be skewing your thoughts as well making you over think things.

    After this pandemic is over dip your toes in slowly in the dating wading pull. Make sure to check each woman out carefully and donít rush things. Our hearts can get the better of our logic so itís best to move slow. That way you can see if they are genuine or not. Those in it just for themselves are easy to read if you move slow as well.

    I can guarantee youíll find more genuine and hard working ladies then not.

    The last thing you want to do is throw in the towel on love. Just throw in the towel on those who donít deserve your attention.

    Surround yourself by those only whom cherish you and bring out the good in you.

  8. #7
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    Love is something that comes from within and individuals possess it to different varying degrees. When you find someone who possesses the same degree of love as you do, youíve found yourself a potential match. But I think youíre right that humans donít couple because of love. They couple because of the biological drive to propagate the species. Love, sex and security are the things that get them through the door to achieve that function. Once youíre in, itís for better or worse. Hopefully better, if youíre lucky.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I've been married for a long time. My husband helps me with everything ever since our sons were newborns to errands, cooking, housecleaning, laundry, child rearing, house maintenance, home repairs, yard work, car maintenance, car repairs, always fills up the cars with gas, you name it and we're a team all the way. He always picks up the slack.

    We both provide for our comfortable standard of living and financial security in the suburbs.

    Love is a selfless attitude and responsibilities.

    My husband is my soulmate and more than my best friend. He's honorable with the highest integrity and a very moral man. I've never seen a man give so much of himself to his wife and children. He's what you call A REAL MAN.

    You and I and most of us here don't share your same perspective. As for me, I agree to disagree with you.

    And yes, we'll color you single for the remainder of your days. Good luck finding what you're looking for.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Who filed for divorce and why? Have you unraveled all the marital assets? How are you working out custody? Perhaps some therapy could give you a more realistic picture of relationships rather than this black and white picture. When you attitude toward women/relationships improves you will find more happiness.

    Focus on physical and emotional health. Make sure you are fit and in good health. Quit any bad habits like drinking or smoking. Remake yourself into a better version without the unrealistic vision of ideal love.
    Originally Posted by BG1
    I'm a 53-year old male, separated/divorced over 4 years. Father of twin teens we remain as friends and coparent very well.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by BG1
    Thanks for your response. Cynical perhaps, but not by choice. And my observations / other data aren't just from my friends. I've heard people talking while in line at Chipolte, and it just seems to be a more common theme than I would have expected. For instance, I've heard couples discussing payment for things, arguing over "whose money" is going to pay for it. Married couples arguing over who pays the rent and who pays the cable bill. Where's the joint bank account? If you're married, it's OUR money, not YOUR money or MY money.

    And things like taking out the trash - your job vs. my job. Ditto laundry. Ditto yard work.

    It's like they're roomates in college, not partners in life. I just don't get it.
    I have never heard these convos, while in public or with friends.

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