Emotional baggage

Avatar for mhash
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Emotional baggage
37
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 11:42pm
Emotional baggage is a loaded catch all phrase. I believe we all have it. I have done a LOT of self-examination and reading on relationships to realize that in order to have a long term, intimate relationship with another woman both of us need to own our stuff, i.e. emotional baggage.

One book tells of three phases of a relationship. First the romance/lust phase where your partner’s qualities is so appealing, e.g. him being so in control or her being so emotionally open. Second is the phase where there is the struggle where the very qualities that appealed to you is now a source of friction, e.g. he is so controlling and she is so flighty. I think it takes someone who is self aware and owns their own baggage to get to the third phase where there is growth by both partners to accept, adapt, and adjust to/with each other and themselves.

I believe that intimate relationships are the only way to achieve personal, self growth and awareness. Buttons get pushed and knowing and owning my buttons (i.e. emotional baggage) is the way for this growth to happen. All but one relationship I have been in all ended in the blaming “you” word rather than having her own her stuff. “You are this and that” rather than “I feel this way when you do this” and “It is because of my issues with my father that I feel that I want to blame you for this or that.”

I continue to seek and be open to a woman who I can grow with. I plan to write another post on looking at the other's family-of-origin stuff in order to determine if she would be someone I would want to have a relationship with.

Mark

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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 12:07am
I think that in order to have a long term intimate relationship you have to avoid getting all wrapped up in new age therapyspeak and especially avoid subjecting the other person to that - of course everyone has issues - and neuroses - etc - when it is right, when you click, there is no need to analyze or at least to the extent that I have seen you do - it just works, you smile a lot - the main theme is fun getting to know each other and feeling comfortable - if someone suggested that I needed to own my own stuff I would probably run like the wind - it is so therapyspeak and vague - maybe I would laugh, before I ran.

This is just me - but I think you rationalize and think too much - like the time you had a casual relationship (that lead to more) and you kept intellectualizing and using new age words to describe why you felt healthy having casual sex - there is nothing wrong or right with casual sex but I never got why you felt the need to fit it into a neat little therapy box - many many people have serious relationships/marriages and they never discuss "emotional baggage" - like my parents who have been married 47 years, or friends who have been married for a decade - and it works just fine without the analysis - think about it.

Avatar for cl_shywon
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Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 8:09am
I think that in order to be with someone in a good relationship, you have to be willing to accept that they are a new person and not the person who hurt you in the past. If you're able to see that, then that baggage won't matter.

Of course, that's easier said than done. Right now, I'm really wondering how I can trust my judgement about men b/c I was wrong about someone that I thought I was truly right about. I'm going to try and get past it, though. It's going to be difficult!

It's nice to see you back, Mark.



Avatar for mhash
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Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 11:12am
I heard a lot of "you" in your message. Just own your own preferences.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 11:59am
I apologize for the harshness - do you ever feel like you hide behind those therapy/new age/crunchy words in order avoid describing how you really feel - that makes me suspicious - in the sense that when you know how you feel - what happened to the back to basics approach - simple and concise descriptions - happy, sad, frustrated, intrigued, excited, angry - when I hear therapyspeak from a new man in my life - especially a new man - it feels like I am being drowned in verbiage and have to wade through it to find what it really means - it doesn't sound highly evolved or smart to me - it sounds like that person is hiding behind words and typically feels like it will be a lot of work with little pay off. Again this is just how I experience it - I know women who would positively drool over a man who would describe his feelings and reactions the way you do - for them it would resonate deeply and meaningfully and they would feel - wow I finally found a man who is open and really relates to how I feel. And that is not meant sarcastically - that is from examples I know - it just doesn't work that way for me and since you shared what works for you I thought it was ok to share what works for me.
Avatar for northwestwanderer
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 8:49pm
I agree. People who are unaware of their issues, or worse, IMO, who are aware of them but refuse to take responsibility for them and "own" them as you say, are bad bets for truly intimate, serious relationships.

In any event, it's good to see you, Mark, and I hope you're doing ok! I apologize if I'm misremembering, and I hope it's not a sore subject...but didn't you have some good news on the job front when you were last posting?

Sheri

Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 8:50pm
Wow, Deena, this is really judgmental! "Crunchy"??????

Sheri

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Fri, 09-12-2003 - 11:38pm
Crunchy is a style - not bad or good - just a style - he gave his opinion on "owning your stuff" and I gave my opinion on using that type of language instead of basic descriptions.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mhash
Sat, 09-13-2003 - 3:51am
"I believe that intimate relationships are the only way to achieve personal, self growth and awareness"

i'm not sure i agree with this statement...

one can achieve quite a lot of self growth/awareness through introspection...

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: mhash
Sat, 09-13-2003 - 11:39am
I agree that introspection will bring you some insight and growth but I personally found that it's a lot like talking to myself.. in fact it IS talking to myself. I can only go so far with that. Plus the main thing about intimate relationships is that it challenges me. With introspection, that does not happen for me (as much anyway). When someone pushes me to go where I found too hard to go or creates a response that I could never have when I am in my head then that is the great opportunity to grow.

Mark

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: mhash
Sat, 09-13-2003 - 7:11pm
Hello

It’s been a long time.. almost a half a year. I want to check in since I heard from Go J (thanks Go).

Since January… I met a woman at a New Year’s party.. been with her.. she broke up in March.. met another thru a mutual friend.. I broke up with her (no chemistry).. I got a job in late April (after 2.25 yrs of not working) ..about the same time as when I met Kirsten.. she is 12 years younger than I am.. she helped me celebrate my 50th birthday in July…the chemistry was not there even though I felt EVERYthing else was.. the clean, honest, straightforward communication, .. the openness.. another thing about my birthday.. my two brothers both CAME!!! .. first time we all three have been together since my mother died (10 years!!!). I have not seen my older brother since my divorce (3 yrs ago). It was AMAZING! My kids LOVED it!

And Burt (my older brother who just went thru his 2nd divorce and his 11 yr old daughter moving away from him) gave me three books on relationships.. so cool. We got to talk about feelings (yikes and wow!) and our parents.

It was a fascinating synchroncity that my relationship with Kirsten started and ended with my job (account manager for a marketing agency for about ½ what I was making before). At about the same time, I was told I was not performing well enough to be kept on if I don’t turn around in a month. This has brought deep fear and anxiety and past crap up. My work with Geotran (somebody called it Reiki on steroids .. but it’s much more than that) has been a lifesaver. My friend Sandy, has been a Godsend in hanging in there with me and doing the Geotran processes with me.

Of course I felt an acute hole in my life by not having Kirsten there (even though I’m the one who ended it). She quickly moved on and started dating another guy she (re)met at her twenty year high school reunion. I am grateful that she remained open and loving with me in support and contact. However I have forced myself not to contact her as much as I would like. I REALLY miss having a daily friend in my life to share my day, my fears, my triumphs, and my love with.

I’m back on Match and Matchmaker but have not joined. I want the woman to come to me. I have sent the free winks but figured that if I’m going to meet someone else then it would be thru a mutual friend (like Kirsten) or in person at an activity that I’m at.

My children are both a comfort and a reminder that I’m not “there” yet – financially or in terms of how I want my life to be. There is a LOT more but it’s best left to real-time conversation or not at all (or later).

Thanks for asking.

Love,

Mark


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