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Am I so hard to love?

(20 Posts)
Mambypamby Wed 03-Jun-20 16:31:58

I keep choosing men who are in some way emotionally unavailable. I divorced the father of my children when I was 32 and have been "alone" but not really alone - a series of long and short term relationships that did not really fulfil my needs even when at the time I thought I was happy. Soon enough the men have revealed themselves to be narcissistic or in some way aloof. I have been in a relationship for almost two years and every time I feel frustrated and communicate this to my partner he informs me that he doesn't "do stress" and wants "an easy life" which results in my apologising and retracting from exploring my reasons for feeling upset. Its happened again. I am distraught. I have two grown up sons and two grandchildren and cannot face another failure. I'm 61. If this fails I am resigned to being alone. I am self aware enough to know its me - even down to choosing them in the first place so counseling isn't the answer. I feel completely damaged, flawed and therefore unlikeable and unlovable. I have a professional life by the way - one in which I am respected and valued but don't feel like this in my private life. Please be kind - can anybody offer any words of wisdom?

AGAA4 Wed 03-Jun-20 16:39:13

MambyPamby. I am sure you are lovable you just seem to be choosing the wrong men!
Someone who doesn't do stress and wants an easy life is not much use when you need support.

Sussexborn Wed 03-Jun-20 17:00:49

Perhaps you could open your mind to a few counselling sessions. Saying out loud what is going round and round in your mind might help untangle your thoughts and reasoning.

Once I reluctantly agreed to counselling it was surprising how many friends and colleagues had secretly undergone the process and all found it helpful.

Hope things work out and yo find peace of mind.

rosenoir Wed 03-Jun-20 17:01:27

Could it be that past hurts have meant that you do not relax in a relationship and just enjoy it on a day to day basis but always look for what is going to happen and where it is going.

There is no guarantee that any relationship will be long term and if you always look for reassurance and commitment it will stop you enjoying just being with somebody.

It is difficult to relax and just be if the other person is needy.

I hope this one works out for you but if it is not fulfilling your needs then think of ending it as it will not get better if nothing changes.

tanith Wed 03-Jun-20 17:38:58

There is nothing wrong with being on your own, you can have a perfectly fulfilled and happy life without a significant other many people do. Concentrate on family and friends and who knows what’s down the road just enjoy what you have that makes you happy.

geekesse Wed 03-Jun-20 18:50:24

Relationships are doomed to failure if you enter them expecting only or mainly to ‘fulfil your needs’. Take a Long break, learn to like yourself as an individual, and discover what there is in yourself that you’d like to share. Then embark on enjoying life as a whole single person. You may or may not meet someone you want to spend your life with, but at least you won’t be lurching from relationship to relationship looking for a spare part to fill some gap in your life.

Davidhs Wed 03-Jun-20 19:08:01

Mambypamby After 48 yrs of marriage my wife passed on and after a while I began dating, it was quite a surprise how long some of the ladies had been single and yet still looking for a partner, in one case 27yrs. I’ve no idea who she was looking for but it wasn’t me!.

As a rift has happened several times are you choosing men that are “submissive” and have needs themselves?, you haven’t said, is he living at your place, or you at his?.

Mambypamby Thu 04-Jun-20 09:33:23

Thanks everyone for your comments they're certainly invoking some thoughts here. He is living with me and moved in very quickly - his idea. Long story. I don't regret that part of it as mostly we have fun and although I may have given the impression otherwise, I am much more open to the ephemeral qualities of this relationship. Its just that when something goes "wrong" on a daily basis - the smallest of things, it could be either of us having the hump over trivia - all my past hurts seem to line up one by one to show me how this one incident marks the beginning of the end! Its a feeling very deep inside me that I am the one to blame because of my emotional responses to anything. I always apologise as I always take the blame for how I've responded. Which detracts from the fact that I may have had good reason to be upset in the first place just that my reason was somehow covered up by my impulsive response.

annep1 Thu 04-Jun-20 17:08:03

It sounds to me like you are too hard on yourself and always take the blame when something goes wrong, perhaps because you react strongly? I think you should try counselling to improve how you feel about yourself.
Also it doesn't sound like communication is good with your present partner. Your needs are important. I think I would reconsider living together right now. Maybe concentrate on yourself.

Wibby Thu 04-Jun-20 17:12:31

Be single for a while and start loving yourself. Being single doesnt mean a lonely life just because youve no man in it.

ValerieF Thu 04-Jun-20 20:04:08

Mambypamby I think if many Gnetters are honest most of them will not have the same emotional connection as to those of their partners. (some will disagree) Men do seem to have a limited capacity to understand emotion. They are much more physical (as a general rule and yes I appreciate there will be exceptions before anyone starts having a go lol)

I don't think you have necessarily made the wrong choices, I think maybe your expectations are too high?

Most people learn to compromise. Perhaps you need to understand yourself first and foremost. IF, you are looking for someone else to make you feel happy you will undoubtably be disappointed in life. Happiness comes from within, first and foremost. If, you are basically happy with your husband/partner for the majority of things then you have to weigh up what you would be more happy with if you leave him (as Meatloaf says two out of three aint bad) . Maybe Seek out girlfriends who understand where you are coming from to offload to?

You say you have fun for the most part? That goes a long way imo. If you expect your partner to jump in on your past hurts and experiences then I think you are expecting too much in my opinion also. You really need to learn how to leave the past in the past and enjoy the present (not even the future) Not sure how you do this (Counselling perhaps?) But from what I am reading the problem really is you not being able to start again? Could be wrong so ignore what you don't want to take on board.

Mambypamby Fri 05-Jun-20 09:08:04

Thank you Gnetters for your brilliant advice and I have taken little bits from all of you. Maybe I do expect too much and need to be a little more self soothing or self reliant emotionally. Two out of three ain't bad - love that! Also - as a general rule I need to be ok with the fact that nobody will ever be able to "get me" totally - does anyone ever fully understand another? How rare if so.
Thanks wonderful people I will re- read these comments and absorb!

Oracle53 Thu 11-Jun-20 12:08:44

Mambypamby, your problem sounds very familiar to me and my experiences with past relationships. For a few years now I have been single and have tried to work on my need for unconditional love from someone, as I found that when it has come up in relationships it has been a very painful experience, but that I can learn to 'parent myself' and be happy within my own self. I feel that those who have very happy relationships are the lucky ones, most people seem to find varying degrees of dissatisfaction with partners. I think not expecting too much from another flawed human is a good starting point - the rest we need to provide for ourselves. There is much we can do - cultivating close and supportive friendships, developing skills and talents and relaxing hobbies, even, if you are that way inclined following a spiritual path. Well, this is all stuff that helps me. Having said that, I would love to be in a good relationship with a partner, but not prepared any more to put up with a bad one, so am being very careful in my choices. Good luck with your life.

Sparkling Fri 12-Jun-20 15:18:16

Agree with Withby

quizqueen Fri 12-Jun-20 15:23:51

I expect the best men have been taken and the women in their life are hanging onto them. You will have to wait until they are widowers!!!

BlueBelle Fri 12-Jun-20 15:31:54

Why do you need a man to make you happy perhaps if you learnt how to be at peace with yourself but without a man then the right one might come along
If you ve been in and out of relationships since you were 32
I d really give yourself some space to be you and heal past hurts before you get involved with another man

ExD Fri 12-Jun-20 15:42:33

I have been married to a man, who doesn't do stress, for 60 years, and you won't change him.
Decide whether you can live with the lack of a sympathetic ear and learn to do without emotional support from him. Can you rely on yourself when times are emotionally hard for you and cope alone?
Its that or end it.
You don't NEED a man for this, (though it must be nice to have one !! smile)

sodapop Fri 12-Jun-20 16:39:25

Absolutely agree BlueBelle. Try the counselling Mambypamby and enjoy your life alone finding your own peace and happiness, this is not dependent on another person.
I wish you well.

Chardy Fri 12-Jun-20 16:54:37

Being single is great. You can eat what you want, when you want, watch what you want. You don't have to ask permission. When I read on here about what some wives put up with, I want to weep.

As a friend said after a very, very difficult break-up 'One good thing is I put something down, and when I want it again, it's in the same place'

Hetty58 Fri 12-Jun-20 20:17:07

Mambypamby, once you are happy in yourself, all alone, as a complete person - then you have a good chance of success in a partnership.

You shouldn't need somebody else to be content and happy. They are a bonus, not an 'other half'.