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Topic: The male failure to launch culture

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    16 July 2020

    Hello.

    I am a male that is 34 years old and i find it hard to 'launch' in a relationship. Other aspects of my life I am a high achiever, great job, high education, great friends. great finances, great communication, ppl say I'm good looking. fit. I never used to be like this. I used to be able to fall for women and love them. I have had a 2 long term relationships that collapsed suddenly, and ever since then, i find it hard to emotionally connect with a woman- and I find I despise them (relationship wise)- (I respect woman and have many great friendship with women) BUT when it comes to dating, I emotionally despise them. It may be my bodies way of dealing with previous hurt, but I am now in a situation where I literally feel physical deterrent to woman from a feelings point of view. Whenever I see a woman I am attracted to I tell myself to go up to her and talk to her but then i think- what is the point? i.e ok-we maybe might date- but the probability of it working in my mind is close to NIL.

    I am trying to change this but i find it hard. I see myself retreating to male friendships and not engaging with a beautiful woman. I also find myself retreating into gaming.

    It makes me think- Do we retreat to the narrative of how society may tell us? i.e people that know me may say- Adrian- great guy- successful-catch- but with baggage due to a failed previous relationship. And this narrative we believe ourselves? How do we short circuit the narrative we think society thinks of us? because we can in reality create our own narrative.

    Also, any hints on how i can overcome this as i want to have a successful long and healthy relationship with a family in the future. thank you. I'm just being honest

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Tay100
    Community Champion
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    Tay100 avatar
    424 posts
    16 July 2020 in reply to John P

    Hi John P

    Thanks for posting- we are caring, non-judgemental community and we appreciate you speaking out and voicing your opinion. Speaking up can help us get clarity and help lessen the pressure we put on ourselves.

    You aren't alone in this- many people have all sorts of defence mechanisms to protect themselves from the hurt they have experienced in past romantic relationships. People can feel self-conscious and ashamed of thier emotional baggage and relationship failures, as you say. What you feel is valid.

    If you want to grow and overcome this, have you got a support network around you that you could reach out too in real life? They know you and may be able to offer perspective and insight. If this doesn't feel like an option for you, there are plenty of professional help resources- this thread may be useful for finding resources that resonate with you: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/treatments-health-professionals-and-therapies.

    You can also use this thread to elaborate on your issues and create conversation: we are here to listen.

    Let u know how you are going, if you like.

    Tay100

  3. ecomama
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    1628 posts
    16 July 2020 in reply to John P

    Hi John P

    You never have to justify your feelings here. And never have to argue for them.

    They are what they are and that's the rub.

    YOU are welcome here. So is EVERY BODY. It is a supportive space for anyone to join, share and be supported.

    Moving on...

    It sounds like you've been hurt pretty badly & deeply in the past at the end of your 2 long term relationships.
    Have you read up about Narcissistic abuse? Not saying those relationships were with narcissists, but if you see some things that ring true for you, maybe there's some help in "recovering from Narc abuse" sites online.

    Tbh I had a similar "awakening" in my very early 30s. I realised my professional life was on a trajectory straight UPWARDS but my private life I felt was a shambles lol. Why?

    I sought a psychologist way back then. She was helpful, did assessments but not really alot of help with info I could understand and USE.

    One thing she DID help me with was to say "In our work life, it's a RATIONAL space with black and white ways to behave but in our personal lives it's our EMOTIONAL life and all grey". Then just "get rid of this relationship and that one etc".

    You have the awareness to KNOW that when getting close to someone, then the feelings arise that you despise women. I don't take this personally at all btw, being a woman. I kind of understand I think?

    After everything I've been through I'm terrified of men. I have a beautiful boyfriend who got in before I felt that, but I tell you THAT has come out in our relationship. He is the most kind and patient human being for sure.

    See if this makes sense to you..... it's FEAR. I'm SCARED. I'm terrified lol!

    We can talk more and I would love to hear what you think. I hope you come back to share more.

    I think we can really learn alot from each other.

    I know you'll get through this.

    EM

  4. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to ecomama

    'recovering from NARC abuse...i have looked it up and its interesting.

    In life, it is so important to pick the people you choose to let in to your life based on their character. Their character will most of the time determine your long term relationship with them.

    I also believe this in a relationship- its all about the character of your partner. If they are a cheater- they will cheat. If they are a giver- they will give. If they are verbally abuse- they will abuse- if they always change friend- they will probably also change partners. if they complain they will complain about you....etc. Its all about character.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. ecomama
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    1628 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to John P
    John P said:

    'recovering from NARC abuse...i have looked it up and its interesting.

    In life, it is so important to pick the people you choose to let in to your life based on their character. Their character will most of the time determine your long term relationship with them.

    I also believe this in a relationship- its all about the character of your partner. If they are a cheater- they will cheat. If they are a giver- they will give. If they are verbally abuse- they will abuse- if they always change friend- they will probably also change partners. if they complain they will complain about you....etc. Its all about character.

    AB-SO- FREAKING - LUTELY lol! Leopards.... spots.

    You're up on this. I am too.

    I LOVE the work by Stephen Covey and you may see online a fantastic VISUAL representation with an ICE BERG lol.

    It shows the difference between a "(strong) character" and (personality disorders).
    I love all his work anyway.

    "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is a great book I read when trying to work out exH.
    It helped alot and I could see all the tools he used to manipulate me, anyway he is a psychopath so it only touched the surface really!

    Your awareness of knowing you 'despise(d) women' shows you are closely in tune with your feelings.
    Do you know why yo don't like them anymore?

    Could you be feeling attraction to males?

    EM

     

     

     

  6. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to ecomama

    No, "'m definitely attracted to females, and not males. When i say i despise women, maybe that a bit too strong of a word.

    What i mean is, when you are in a relationship-you open up to someone, you are required to compromise- you are required to negotiate (who does what-outside chores, inside chores etc) you are meant to intertwine into each others lives until you become one- which means you have to like similar things, have the same ethics, have the same beliefs, like the same type of people etc....I just feel the chances of that happening and going through the journey to become ONE essentially is an impossible one filled with the probability of almost Zero.

    When i say despise- i want the freedom to be able to enjoy what i like to do- going to the footy- watching soccer, joking around- and based on my previous experiences, My partner wouldn't want me to do those things, which results in friction in being yourself.

    When i say despise, I just mean its easier to be by yourself and be who you are without consequences of your partner reducing your happiness by criticising your flaws, critiquing your choice of hobbies etc. So why do we enter relationships? because most of the time people are happier by themselves.

    i may start dating someone it becomes serious. Then in 5 years i may loose all my wealth, job, may loose a leg etc, and then they will leave you-like is there a point? OR they put pressure on you to become this MAN they always wanted. i.e gotta keep up with the Jones etc. always upgrade to a better house. tell you that you cannot see a particular friend anymore because they don't like their spouse etc.

    You only find out if your partner is a wolf in sheep clothing down the track- and also- don't all of use have a wolf inside of us?

  7. ecomama
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    1628 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to John P

    I went back reread your initial post and have dissected it lol! This could be 5y with a MH Professional lol but I'll give it a go!

    YOU SAID Do we retreat to the narrative of how society may tell us?
    What is this "mystical narrative" that society tells us Adrian?

    YOU SAID : i.e people that know me may say- Adrian- great guy- successful-catch- but with baggage due to a failed previous relationship.

    You have NO IDEA what "people" truly think about you.... this is YOUR "narrative"...
    If you took FIFTEEN people that "knew" you, and you could pull apart their brain to find out the truth?
    They would ALL be different.
    My point here is WHY CARE?

    And this narrative we believe ourselves?
    Ummm what narrative?

    How do we short circuit the narrative we think society thinks of us?
    "Society" DOES NOT HAVE meetings to get together and pool their thoughts and do workshops on "Now how do we THINK of Ecomama?" nor you either. No one.
    "Society" doesn't care lol.
    If YOU are judging people constantly then you are not 'society' either. Simply you.

    because we can in reality create our own narrative.
    EXACTLY and we DO!

    Our harshest critic is OURSELVES.

    Tbh I'm not sure why you're thinking this way but I would like to know?

    It could be shame - of past relationships failing.
    It could be anxiety - ruminating thoughts.
    It could be embarrassment - because you are comparing yourself to others maybe in healthy relationships and judge yourself and say IDK eg "I should be (insert Adrian's expectation)".... Married, have 10 children, have 3 degrees, be a World famous soccer star.... IDK. Btw embarrassment is underpinned by shame.

    What do you think?

    EM

  8. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to ecomama

    probably shame and anxiety. Not so much embarrassment anymore.

    Coming from an ethnic background, the expectations are to be in a long standing relationship- and if your not you are described as sub par- (in the circle I operate in)...But i battle based on my previous experiences with seeing for me a relationship working vs the expectations on me by people in my circle to be in one. It is expected that I get married and have children to be accepted, but in my head, i wont be able to hold down a relationship.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. ecomama
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    1628 posts
    17 July 2020 in reply to John P

    Shame is the birthplace of embarrassment.
    See Dr Brene Brown "Shame" online. She also covers guilt, vulnerability and courage.

    Vulnerability being the birthplace of courage.

    I was thinking of you today in light of the retreating into "gaming" comment you made.
    It's a 'comfortable' world, safe, relatively predictable.
    I have the same feelings bout my workplace - 99% of the time.

    Relationships are NOT predictable... etc.

    I'm more concerned about you getting to the root of your honest feelings about "despising women" when you get close to them AND saying you "won't be able to hold down a relationship".

    It makes perfect sense that you WON'T be able to be HAPPY in a relationship because of your core feelings.

    IF you got INTO a relationship with these feelings then that would be very cruel to the woman you're dating / marrying / having children with. exH "despised' women and felt the need to control them, he used them despicably etc and he was extremely mentally ill - multiple diagnoses. Not saying you are! exH had a VERY controlling mother and had Opposition Defiance Disorder stemming from his reaction to the relationship with said mother. This was then copied and pasted to ALL other females in the world, including his daughters which (by Law) he is not permitted to have any contact with. It was left "untreated' for too long.

    It would be great for you to "nip this in the bud" before it escalates, even in your mind.

    I recommend seeing a trained psychologist about these feelings you have.

    You don't have to tell anyone. You can get a Mental Health Care Plan from your Dr and a referral. This will make it alot cheaper.

  10. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Thanks.i will see a psychologist. I have always been the person who is caring/loving/affectionate/lovely person-buy maybe I just chose the wrong partner in the past. Maybe I just have to choose more wisely.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. randomx
    randomx avatar
    1427 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to John P

    l've felt the way you feel about women after a divorce and all the 100s of other divorcing people l come across later and stories , the blinkers were def' off, l'd lost all respect for most women and they were way of that pedestal . But , l also knew l don't have to love women , why ,just because she's a woman , says who , l only have to like or be involved with those l respect, like anyone else. Because of who they truly are and in knowing they're different than the normal standard out there these days. So l've only been involved with 2 women since that divorce, 8 yrs, and both exceptional human beings with real morals and standards . The first one well , apart from that we did have some other stuff , and she did too , but she was still a rare rare lady in this day and age. The other one l am still with and we're probably together the rest of our lives, another rare rare human being .

    You don't have to like the rest of the herd , just that one special person and the other few that are in our lives.

    3 people found this helpful
  12. ecomama
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    1628 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to randomx

    Beautifully put randomx.

    I felt exactly the same way about "men" after another divorce.

    We can respect human kind but we don't have to give our attention to anyone of either sex and most defintely not our LOVE.

    SO happy to hear you met a rare rare lady, the perfect match! lol.

    2 people found this helpful
  13. randomx
    randomx avatar
    1427 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Thanks for that ecomama , and well said you too, l thought that one will get me into the bb dog house actually so it's nice to hear it was taken in context .

    l'm sorry about the divorce . God it's disheartening isn't it. l really didn't think l'd ever get involved again tbh l'd completely lost the faith.

    l hope you find your peace and happiness . Take care of you. rx

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Elizabeth CP
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Elizabeth CP avatar
    2174 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to John P

    I think relationships take time & work. This means more than just going to a nice restaurant & having a nice time. You need to spend time together doing things the other likes, This can't be one sided where one does whatever the other wants & not the reverse. Then you can see what compromises need to be made & if they are worth it. This doesn't mean you have to do everything together for ever. For example my son is very adventurous his wife isn't but she has tried the things he enjoys. Some things she is happy to do as long as she gets the chance to do her own things others she hated & will not go again but she is happy to let him go & do them while she does something she wants that he doesn't like.

    You said you are meant to intertwine into each others lives until you become one- which means you have to like similar things, have the same ethics, have the same beliefs, like the same type of people etc....I just feel the chances of that happening and going through the journey to become ONE essentially is an impossible one filled with the probability of almost Zero. That is not true. You need to have enough similar interests to enjoy doing things together but you need to trust each other enough to be comfortable doing other things separately. I don't have to be best friends with my husband's friends We have different friends but neither of us have friends that will try to cause any problems in our relationship. We certainly have similar beliefs & ethics at least regarding things which really matter but we are able to disagree or less important things.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Sleepy21
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    1310 posts
    19 July 2020 in reply to randomx

    hey rx,

    i think your feelings are what many of us go through... no doghouse!!

    men and women can feel suspicious of the other gender, and than still want to have a r/ship with them

    The worst for me as a female, who was wary of men, was being with a man who was wary of women. We were both so mean and wary of each other.

    I'm really happy that in hospital recently I formed a close friendship with a really kind and gentle man - it can sometimes just take one person to change the cycle.

    He told me i was a bubbly, good person, and saw my inner qualities, and always spoke to me respectfully and kindly

    This bond opened me up a little bit and I hope I can be more trusting to men going forward. I guess as men and women we all have our fears and anxieties after being hurt. I'm really glad you posted Rx because many of us relate to this and it's okay to voice it.

    It doesn't mean that you hate the opposite gender just that you are trying to learn to trust again.

    3 people found this helpful
  16. ecomama
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    19 July 2020 in reply to randomx
    randomx said:

    Thanks for that ecomama , and well said you too how sweet! my pleasure rx and thank YOU too.

    l thought that one will get me into the bb dog house actually so it's nice to hear it was taken in context
    lolol is there a bb doghouse? oh maybe you're in here with me lol. Ofcourse.

    l'm sorry about the divorce . God it's disheartening isn't it. Thankyou rx,same to you too. It was devastating at the time, so many disclosures and they were ugly, but glad to be rid of it all tbh. He's a rotten excuse for a human being so NO IT'S AWESOME! Free at last. I love it.

    l really didn't think l'd ever get involved again tbh l'd completely lost the faith. THAT'S the the thing right there.Why let another human being dehumanise us? After I began to know my worth, and I was pretty much bugged by my bf lol, I took a long time to check out his character via a close friendship. I'm so happy I did.
    He's amazing.

    I'm so glad you took a chance again rx, it would be such a lonesome shame for someone to miss out on you lol.

    l hope you find your peace and happiness . Take care of you. rx
    You too ofcourse.

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  17. John P
    John P avatar
    53 posts
    22 July 2020 in reply to ecomama
    thank you all. Great perspectives to think about. I think I just got to let go a bit and be more open minded in the future with relationships.thanks
    2 people found this helpful

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