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Elatedgiraffe was nice enough to inquire how I was doing and I didn't want to take another person's thread, and I've been here for a while and given my advise and opinions ad nauseum, but have never started a thread of my own, so I thought maybe if I did, I could deal with my own issues all in one shot, and keep it out of other threads except to pass on my experience. Anyway, here we go...

Most of you may know that my relationship issue is with an ex, break up 6 1/2 years ago, he married 2 years ago. I was pretty destroyed after he left me, but when I found out he married, I fell apart all over again, and I just can't seem to put myself back together. Mainly because during the course of our relationship, he drew a pretty hard line regarding his religious and moral beliefs. He didn't believe a woman with children should work outside the home. I have gene pool issues and wanted to give our kids the very best chance of getting the best genes we could give them, and I did research into natural family planning and "accidents" with this method had a higher chance of birth defects because of old sperm or eggs, and he couldn't be with a woman who would use birth control. We saw a toothpaste commercial with just the mother and her sons and he threw a fit that the father wasnt' shown because it implied divorce, which was unspeakable. We were with some friends and their kids and one of the little girls was asking one of the women about the man she was with , that he was her boyfriend, but not her kids' dad and the woman explaining she was divorced. I mentioned this to my ex and he shook his head with sadness and a little disgust at the idea of divorce. He said that was one reason for him sticking with me was because we were getting to the age that other women his age would most likely be divorced and he really didn't want to marry a divorcee, especially if she had kids from another man. He didn't believe in premarital sex either, and neither do I really, but he felt guilty over what we did do, and sort of felt it was me who didn't put the brakes on enough. Anyway, we went round and round about this stuff, even though I basically agreed with him, just not so vehemently and felt stifled which made me take a stand more obnoxious than what was really in my heart, but I would just get soooooo tired of him being sooooo stubborn and immovable and so rigid to the point of being a little crazy in my opinion. And we were both in bad places in life, career and money struggles, unhappy with living situation, etc. And there was unhealthy competition. We're both musicians, and I always sort of felt sort of disrespected and not valued very much by him. His band played a weekend gig out of town and we all spent a rainy afternoon in a cabin, and the guitar player broke out his guitar and started playing "girl" songs, so I sang 3 or 4 songs and everyone said really nice things. Instead of being proud, he seemed to get a bit annoyed. He went and got his guitar and got the guitar player's attention and started working on songs to jam on, and I asked "Hey do you know such and such a song" and my ex frowned, waved his hand at me and said "just a minute..." and that was the end of my singing along, even though he got to play all night with the band. Toward the end of our relationship, he started getting moody and distant, and even a bit mean at times, and I made it clear that I knew how I felt and even though he had our issues, I was in it for good. He left me, but insisted it was mutual, though it most definitely was not, and said it was because we werent compatible enough on the religious issues. Then he started sleeping with a divorcee with the ink still wet on her papers, three kids, the oldest living with the angry ex who lives to make their lives miserable, and her sticking her youngest two in day care while she worked all day, and tied tubes., I just can't stop scratching my head wondering what in world happened. Why wasn't I good enough, why didn't I deserve a little honesty, respect, why couldn't he be proud of what I could do musically? He never said more than "pretty good" when I sang. I sang once with his band and he seemed angry and upset while we were onstage, singing loudly over me, and when we got offstage, all his friends said how good I sounded, but I was wondering why he seemed so mad, so to fish for what was going on, I asked "how did that sound?" He said "ok." I got a bit fed up at this and said, a bit sarcastic but with a smile on my face, "that's all?" and he flipped and snapped at me "I work with great singers all the time, I'm used to being around good singers, God, I didn't know your ego was so starved!" I think he was most likely being abusive on purpose because he wanted me gone but didn't have the guts to leave, since he had broken up with me twice before, both times very painful for me, and he had sworn he'd never leave me again, and we got measured for rings, looked at wedding sets, etc. I don't know why I didn't deserve more respect, why couldnt' he compromise for me the way he compromised for his wife, why wasnt' I worth it, or was it all a rouse and from the getgo he never cared for me and put on this elaborate show pretending to be someone he never was to get me to warm his bed but keep me at arm's length to make the getaway smoother? why why why. Since then I've sung for people who work with the real pros and they've all been genuinely impressed. So, I just can't stop asking what happened, and can't stop crying, all that stupid stuff. Can't help feeling so stupid because he said a few times that he wished I had dated more men before him since I didnt' seem to know much about the male ego, and toward the end it changed from "I wish you had dated more men" to "I think you should date other men" and I was too stupid to see the difference. I know I made more than my share of mistakes in the relationship, I didn't value him enough, and i was too nagging and nitpicky, but I just can't seem to move on and I'm so tired of crying, so tired of feeling like someone kicked me in the gut and froze my brain and replaced my blood with lead. All our mutual friend has to say about any of it was "it wasn't personal." I've tried everything, drowning myself in volunteerism, my music, going to clubs and meeting new people, dating services, shrinks, pills, St. John's Wort, everything, but nothing seems to make a difference. It's like I died when he left me and I'm just this lifeless zombie walking around. Plus it doesn't help that I face 40 in about 5 months and am so lonely I can't stand it, no spouse or kids, which I always wanted all my life in the worst way, and I can feel my eggs shrivelling. :eek:

Well, so there it is out there in black and white in all its glory. People who know me I'm sure know it's me from the facts I've given. But anyway, now that it's out, I'm sure I won't feel the need to go into as much detail about my own experience in other threads. And if anyone has anything to add, feel free, but please, not if all you have to say is stop the self pity and get a life. Heard it ad nauseum from friends and family. But if you have something new, I'm game. Thanks y'all.
Hi Ninisjpc,

I'm sorry that I never saw your last post and didn't have a chance to reply. I was just wondering how you were doing lately. I know you've been around giving your great advice to others :), but I was thinking about you personally and hoping things have been going a bit better. I reread the end of this thread and I have to say, I can see where you're coming from a bit more. I don't think there's any contradiction between being a feminist in the sense that women are just as smart and capable as men, and they can and should succeed just like men have traditionally, and feeling incomplete without a man.

My mom has been divorced since I was a baby, and has made an extremely successful career for herself. My dad helped some, and was always around, a very consistent influence in my life, but really it was my mom and my mom alone who gave me the best of everything: all the toys, books, clothes, cars and education (8 years at extremely expensive private schools). She has taken care of several beautiful homes, inside and out, doing repairs, putting together furniture, all the typical guy stuff, all on her own without a word of compaint. She really prefers it that way, doing things her way on her time with only me to answer to. She has had a few boyfriends along the way, but just isn't willing to give up her lifestyle and privacy for a man. I admire her more than anyone in the world--I can't imagine that anyone could have had a more loving, caring, and supportive mother--but I can't imagine being completely happy like her without a man. Maybe having a child helps, but being a single mom is SO hard, even when money isn't an issue (and my mom had to work her way up from scratch, so she didn't always have plenty of money). Anyway, besides a little tribute to my amazing mom :angel: , my point here is that even with that inspiring example of independence, I have always been much more comfortable with a man in my life.

Since high school, I've always liked having a steady boyfriend, just someone to count on for company, support, and social companionship. I'm not sure it has as much to do with how you're raised as your temperment, and I, while a firmly avowed feminist, don't think I would be as happy without a man in my life. I don't think this makes us less strong, independent women, and I don't think it's anything that you or I should try to change. The truth is, it's great to have a partner by your side. I think that probably a huge reason why you're having trouble getting past this break-up is because of a lack of other relationships to compare it to, so that you can see that there are other guys out there and that he wasn't the be all and end all of men. I wish I had some way to give you that perspective, but I can't. Despite having 4 other serious relationships, I just know that my current SO is the love of my life, the one I'm meant to be with forever. If anything happened to change that, I know I'd never get over it either. I'm sure there must have been lots of wonderful aspects to your relationship, and I'm sorry that I and others focused on his negative traits in an attempt to make you feel better. You wouldn't still be struggling with this if he was really a complete's always hardest to get over your first love, and even harder when you didn't find love until you were mature enough to recognize it and when you invested so much of your hopes and yourself in the relationship. So while I wish I could give you some profound advice as to how to move past this, I can't. I can only give you compassion and understanding, and say that it doesn't make you less of a person or woman to want a man to complete you (cheesy as that sounds). Still, with all the love and care in your heart, I'd bet that someday, when you're not even looking, another man will come to love you in a way that will make you forget this other guy. In the meantime, I hope things get easier little by little.

Also, I wanted to say that I completely agreed with your story about your friend who supposedly considers herself, and all women, inferior and subordinate to men, but still bosses her husband around. I think that in today's day and age, any women who feels that way is either terribly insecure or just a plain hypocrite, spouting out that dated rhetoric as a cover for being controlling and overbearing. I do feel sorry for that woman's daughter--what effect will a lifetime of such mixed signals have on that poor girl's view of herself and men? GRRR...there's nothing wrong with admitting you need a man, but EVERYTHING wrong with saying that you're inferior to them. It's like the women who opposed the Equal Rights Amendment...what kind of woman wants to hold all the rest of us back? Clearly, a hypocritical, bitter woman who begrudges all other woman any happiness and success.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, and I hope it was okay to bump this thread. If you feel like it, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is concerned with how you're making out these days, so fill us in if you'd like. I hope you've been doing a little better, I can only imagine how hard this is to live with day in and day out. Take care!

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