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|01-13-2006, 03:48 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Charlottesville, VA
I feel like I can't handle marriage
I discovered the wrold of Al-Anon and the notion of being an ACOA about a year ago; it's been amazing, empowering, life changing in a positive way. BUT
I am beginning to feel that I cannot handle a long-term intimate relationship. I seem to be very happy raising my 2 adolescent children as a single mom; I have a great support sytem and fulfilling work.
I divorced my alcoholic husband about 4 yrs ago, waited about 18 months before I even felt any desire to start dating. I now find myself, somewhat suprisingly, in a dating landscape of men who want to settle down, get married, get committed; I find myself backing away from anyone who seeks this with me.
I understand the notion of a healthy, loving relationship (in contrast to both my marriage and my parents' marriage), but I'm not attracted to doing it. Maybe I just haven't met "the right one", but I'm beginning to think that it's more insidious than that. I'm attracted to "bad boys," find a lot of "nice guys" boring after a while...
yikes, any ideas...I'm sitting here writing this on the day after a man who finally believes that I am not "marriage material" has decided to walk away and search for someone who is. It hurts, both from the standpoint of having him out of my life and feeling like there is something wrong with me.
Any ideas, friends?
|01-14-2006, 04:51 AM||#2 (permalink)|
I'm no angel!
Join Date: May 2005
Location: tampa, fl
If you are not ready for a committed relationship, then you are not. Plain & Simple. Do whats best for you, you don't need to defend yourself. Life is about choices, make the best choice for you.
|01-15-2006, 05:54 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: WA Rainforest
Like was said, if you're not, you're not. Mind sending some of those men my way??
Since filing for my second divorce I've been thinking about this a lot. AH is definitely not husband material, had no business getting married. Being married is hard. I think it's harder now than it may have been in the past because we demand more from marriage now than we used to. Back in the days before electric appliances and 24hr grocery stores, running a household took more time than one person could reasonably do - putting food on the table, whether through earning income or farming or hunting, took at least one full time person, and keeping house (which included processing raw materials into food and clothes and household implements while producing and raising children) took at least another full time person. Marriage was a division of labor, or an economic relationship, or a political one. Not a primarily romantic relationship.
Now look at what we want! we want romance, and a soul mate, and a degree of emotional intimacy that seems like few people are capable of. Neither of my husbands were. I may not be either. I look around at married people I know, and I wonder why they're married - I see a lot of emotional avoidance behaviour, like drinking and getting wrapped up in professional sports teams or in work. It takes a much greater degree of emotional maturity now to achieve the degree of intimacy we expect from marriage, than it took 'back in the day' when our expectations of marriage were different.
And for those of us who are ACOAs of course we had lousy role models for marriage. Women tend to look for men who remind us of our fathers, and men women who remind them of their mothers - those were our role models for what to look for in a mate. So us ACOAs end up looking for someone who's emotionally unavailable or a codependent. Certainly what I've been doing all these years. Maybe you are too. But hey, if you don't want to settle down, it's good to know it and to insist on it.
|01-16-2006, 03:22 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clearwater, FL
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be in a committed relationship. Actually, it sounds like you are very healthy. You know that you aren't ready to commit so you are not committing. You are doing what makes you happy and not what others want of you.
"You see things;and you say,'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'."
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
|01-24-2006, 01:01 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Anderson SC
LOL, you are living the life I only dream of!! All kidding aside, I sorta know how you feel. I am almost divorced after a year of seperation (forced upon South Carolina residents). This man did me much financial and emotional harm. I met a very nice Christian man who is the sweetest thing in the world and treats me like a princess. He wants marriage, I am terrified of it especially the way it's gone for me in the past. I have realized that I don't have to do anything I dont want to. I don't have to be married to be happy or to feel whole. I don't like being alone all the time either, so I have to find some kind of balance with friends, hobbies, and the like.
The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. Ben Stein
|02-10-2006, 05:22 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Redcliffe qld
I can relate to your situation as have had a similar experience. I too have left a abusive relationship and have found difficulity with "healthy men".
They seem a tad boring dont they. I have a theory after reading some books
on the subject, it seems to be because of the years of abuse directed at us
our feelings became numb due to self protection and it sometimes takes the
stimulation of drama and intrigue that these bad guys offer to make us feel
any type of excitement and feeling. Get me?
I found it really uncomfortable being with a healthy man who wouldnt let me
play games or make dramas out of everything that didnt go my way, and i was
constantly put back on myself to see the patterns that i had created to survive in the past. Even though i lost him, i learned alot about myself and
i am seeing that a loving relationship is one that is the majority of the time
peaceful and not full of fireworks. There are boring periods but im thinking its
better to have that than the crazness of being with someone who has an
addiction that you can never control no matter how attracted you are to them the addiction will always control the relationship.
Hope this helped.
|02-10-2006, 06:18 AM||#7 (permalink)|
On a tear
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Volcano Country!
I was always attracted to men who were "unavailable". Initially, it was men who were committed elsewhere... as I got older, it was men who had difficulty giving of themselves - being emotionally unavailable. Hell - I find gay men incredibly attractive! And that is also, I think, why I find alcoholic men fit like a hand in glove.
For me the "feeling" of being attracted is a warning sign... "something hinky with this one!"
I am in a relationship with Mr. Big that is going through a bad time, we may or may not make it. Because of that, I have considered how it might be to be single again... and one of my fears is that I would attract another unavailable man.
I am redoubling my efforts at working through my 12 steps.... and am currently involved in a 12-tradition study. The study has been adapted for relationships - and can be used by couples, though this study is all women. It helps me begin to understand why I am the way I am, and how so many traits I had that I thought were "unique" are actaully common among ACOA.... imagine that.
If your ACOA group is willing, why not start at step-study or tradition-study? We meet 2 Saturdays per month and no one is "in charge". We have used the "Paths to Recovery" book before for our step study, and are using some material adapted by Mary Pearl (N. Littlrock, AK alanon) for the tradition study. These studies have helped me a lot.
I wish you well.
No matter how spoiled the past may be, our future is spotless....
|02-10-2006, 02:13 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: washington pa
You are just coming out of a long term relationship. Its great that you realized that jumping back into another long term relationship is not what you want. If I guy doesnt understand that then he not the one for you.
Just enjoy being you and a mom. Sounds like you have great friends and family behind ya right now. Maybe thats all you need. Maybe you need a time out to figure out who you are and what you want in life.
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