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Obl's Pursuit of Happiness #418035
01/06/17 02:40 PM
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Oblivious2678 Offline OP
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The purpose of this blog is for me to post what makes me happy. I'm trying to get in touch with my happiness, to actually feel it on a consistent basis. I want this blog to be spontaneous, whatever comes to mind. These is no ranking system. I want to create a broader spectrum of happiness in my life. Okay, here we go...

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #418037
01/06/17 02:57 PM
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My DS makes me truly happy. He is the apple of my eye. I look forward to seeing him every day. I love watching him grow, learn, prosper, achieve his goals. I love spending time with him playing sports, watching sports, playing video games, playing mind challenging games, a new thing that I see he likes.

He is a really good kid. He is respectful. He is smart. He is loving and caring. He is witty. He is confident at times. He is so much like me it's scary. I want him to be comfortable in his skin and not constantly worry about what others think of him and I am starting to see it, which concerns me.

I want to teach him how to fix things...even though I'm still learning myself. smile I look forward to teaching him how to be a good man, which is something I am still learning myself as well. I want him to continue to be proud, like he is now, that I am his dad. I will continue to make him proud the way he makes me proud to be his dad.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #418059
01/07/17 02:09 AM
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The Dark Side of the Moon
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That's beautiful!


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: AntigoneRisen] #418072
01/07/17 05:20 AM
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How old is your son?

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Orchid2] #418076
01/07/17 02:31 PM
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Oblivious2678 Offline OP
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He is 9.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #418093
01/07/17 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
He is 9.


U r a good dad to show interest in your son.
These memories will last a lifetime in both your lives.

Keep up the good work.

Take care,
Orchid

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Orchid2] #418108
01/08/17 03:43 PM
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Teach him to love learning and to laugh if you make a mistake. Everything is online now - it's easier to decide if it is a professional or "homie" job.

I know many teachers who build things themselves. They remember their tradesman fathers creating/building stuff - remember I'm from D-twoit, we used to have tradesmen out the you-hoo here -- and that spirit inspired them to try it.
In fact, the middle school art teacher kicked the trades out of his house - after his disabled son burnt most of it down - because his father made him help build houses when he was a kid. He knew the current insurance re construction work was sub par - and the insurance company agreed... he finished it himself.

My kids think I'm a absolute 'fricking nut job... but I think they admire the spirit behind it. They LOVE how the house is turning out..NOW.. but hated the months of tear up...

Last edited by whatsupdoc?; 01/08/17 03:55 PM.

Me: 50
XH: 13 - well, does emotional age count?
DD1: 24
DD2: 20
30 year partnership...

M: Dec, 1987
Bomb: May 12, 2014
D: Oct, 2015
Ratz.
I am learning how to surf!
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: whatsupdoc?] #418135
01/09/17 03:56 PM
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Everything being online has helped me immensely. Your kids may think you're a nut job, but as you know, it's only temporary as they then see the progress you have made from all your hard work.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #418136
01/09/17 04:00 PM
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I love my 'me' time. I love to reflect on things A LOT. Most, including myself sometimes, probably would say I reflect too much. There is something fulfilling to me about reflection. It brings a peaceful calmness to my mind and body. I guess we could classify it as meditation. Maybe even daydreaming. I definitely do a lot of this.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #418361
01/15/17 02:37 AM
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If it works for you, then it doesn't matter what other say, does it?


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: AntigoneRisen] #418414
01/16/17 01:45 PM
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Very true, but sometimes it takes away from my productivity.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420369
03/16/17 02:58 PM
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Okay...I have to get back to this. So, doing some thinking this morning. I decided to list out how my day would be if I was alone.

A Regular Work Day

-Wake up around 7am
-Work til around 5-6pm
-Work out for a solid 45 minutes after work
-Make a healthy dinner
-Household chore or two
-Relax or do whatever I would like to do at this time (go out, watch a sporting event, work on a wood project, video game)

Weekend Day with nothing planned already

-Wake up around 8am and have my coffee
-Household chore/project
-Workout for a solid 45 minutes
-------All the above complete by noon. Noon is my threshold time for some reason on the weekend------
-Go out and do some type of activity that I feel like doing
**I like Weekends that are spontaneous if nothing is already planned for me to do

I would be working more, eating healthier, working out regularly. I've always had the desire to maintain an athletic body style.

Most of the work day is impossible with my current life. Work days, I get in late because I get son on the bus. I leave a little early sometimes to beat traffic and so I don't have to hear my wife b*tch about why I can't leave work "on time". I get home and it's dinner, kids' activities if any, kids' lunches for the next day, dishes, laundry, make sure kids' homework is done, oh...and keep track of the puppy of course. Then it's 830pm. Chill for a short time before kids go to bed. By then I'm tired. We watch TV or we on our phones or both.

I think I am just frustrated with being a responsible adult who has to make sacrifices.

I can do an activity, but I only have time for one, if that, and I have to choose it wisely. It cannot take up too much time. If I am to work out during the week, it would have to be 6am or 930pm. I used to work out at 930pm, but after a period of time, wife got frustrated with it because I wasn't in bed with her until after 1030pm.

Guitar is not doing it for me anymore. I don't have the desire to practice the amount that is needed to be successful at it. Like I said, I feel I have time for one thing. If that one thing is not doing it for me, then I tend to get miserable.

It has to be something that fulfills a need and fulfills it in a minimal amount of time.

Being healthy has always been important to me and I am getting to the age where it's more important than ever to make sure I'm taking care of my body...and it turn it would take care of my mind.

Maybe exercise makes me happy. It has been proven chemically. smile I really think it is important to make working out part of my daily life. The working out that I want, not the "30 minutes of walking a day". No. The athletic workouts are what I enjoy. I've seen results in the past. I want to make it my lifestyle.

Now...to make it happen without ruffling the daily feathers.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420372
03/16/17 03:50 PM
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I doubt it will happen without ruffling the daily feathers. But it doesn't have to result in total upheaval either. Besides, no way to know what your wife would be willing to do and/or be content with if you prevent her having to figure it out.

I noticed something missing from your schedule if you were alone.... visitation with the kids and everything that goes along with that. Spending time for one thing. Scheduling for another. Things like grocery shopping and cleaning the bathroom. Dinner. Getting to school. Homework.

There might be a way to get some of the relief you're craving without living apart. One idea is to divide up the week where you have full responsibility on all the days that you would want visitation and have the other days to yourself. You wouldn't be exercising every day but you could do it on a regular basis. You wouldn't be able to work late every day but you could do it on your *alone* days.

It's not a perfect solution but it might give you enough relief and space to figure out the rest.

During an especially stressful time when my kids were very young, I got a day off every week. A day off meant that he did the things that had to get done so that I wasn't facing everything piled up the next day. Every other Thursday was carry out day which he picked up. It was great.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: LivingWell] #420374
03/16/17 04:37 PM
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LW, I didn't factor in visitation with the kids because it was a schedule to reflect if I was only responsible for myself. I listed the extreme opposite to maybe help me find a happy balance. I know that lifestyle I listed is impossible with having kids.

I'm getting that trapped feeling that I had 3.5 years ago that helped cause me to lose it. I don't like feeling trapped.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420375
03/16/17 04:46 PM
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For me, feeling trapped triggers things from my early childhood and I will react from that place if I just try to talk myself out of the feelings.

When I feel trapped in some way, I can usually find a creative way to get untrapped (not a real word, lol). It makes all the difference even if I choose to do nothing different than I'm already doing. It's all about being aware that I do have options and am making the choices that suit me best at the time.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: LivingWell] #420377
03/16/17 04:53 PM
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What kind of creative ways have you used to untrap yourself?

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420378
03/16/17 05:01 PM
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Depends on how I feel trapped.

I haven't felt trapped in several years so I can't think off the top of my head.

Give me an example...

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: LivingWell] #420379
03/16/17 05:47 PM
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I feel as if I am always on edge (probably caused by bottling everything in). I feel as if I cannot do anything without having to "check in". The daily call or text "what time will you be home?" "Where are you?" if I don't answer right away.

I feel as if there is always something that I am missing that needs to be done. When I attempt to do something for myself, there's something I missed that has to be done around the house or for the kids or something.

If I do decide to do something, go golfing, visit a friend, I feel as if I will pay for it down the road.

This stuff is mostly in my head. I keep going in circles as this isn't my first go-round with this.

For example, I need to just take the time to visit some friends next Thursday night, friends I haven't seen in a long time. What makes me hesitant is I would go after work and wouldn't be home until around the time the kids go to bed. I feel guilty doing that and I feel angry if my wife did that to me. Both make me hesitate.

Why does this cause so much frustration with me? I should just be able to do things without overthinking them.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420380
03/16/17 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
I feel as if I am always on edge (probably caused by bottling everything in). I feel as if I cannot do anything without having to "check in". The daily call or text "what time will you be home?" "Where are you?" if I don't answer right away.

I used to make those calls. It was about calming my own anxiety. Unfortunately, it caused anxiety to the other person and was annoying on top of that. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time and he couldn't tell me in a way that wasn't attacking or insulting. It was a problem that caused other problems.


Quote:
I feel as if there is always something that I am missing that needs to be done.

I would guess that there is.... because that's life. Everything doesn't get done. That's why I make priority lists... so that I can decide what's not going to get done when time and/or energy runs out. Today it's laundry. There are still three towels so no big deal. Getting dog food is at the top of the list because otherwise I'll have to cook something for him, lol.


Quote:
When I attempt to do something for myself, there's something I missed that has to be done around the house or for the kids or something.

Yes. Always. Because there's not a lot of "free time" in your schedule. There is something that you gain from scheduling so many minutes of your days. If you can figure out what that is, the next step is to get those things in other ways.


Quote:
If I do decide to do something, go golfing, visit a friend, I feel as if I will pay for it down the road.

That's how life goes.... consequences for everything, good or bad.

The thing that jumps out at me is the term "pay for". It implies a punitive consequence that unwarranted. When I feel like I'm paying as opposed to experiencing consequences, I look for what might be triggered in me. Most times it's due to something that's rooted in childhood that I'm reenacting today. It can look like someone else is causing my dismay but they are really just participants in my recreation of old stuff. It's called acting out because that's what it is..... acting out the dysfunction.


Quote:
This stuff is mostly in my head. I keep going in circles as this isn't my first go-round with this.

Is it a repeat or is it "not as bad"?

If it's just a repeat then you might ask yourself.... when else have I felt this way? Ask yourself that question and allow the answer to come as many times as it takes to get to the root of it. It might feel the same now but there are differences that can be recognized. And today you can deal with it as an adult with all the rights of an adult.


Quote:
For example, I need to just take the time to visit some friends next Thursday night, friends I haven't seen in a long time. What makes me hesitant is I would go after work and wouldn't be home until around the time the kids go to bed. I feel guilty doing that and I feel angry if my wife did that to me. Both make me hesitate.

So if you don't go then your wife can't do something like that either.

Is that accurate?

Also, I recognize the feel guilty thing. For me, it came from being held responsible for what the adults in my childhood were responsible for.... and being taught that doing things for myself was selfish and a bad thing. It really wasn't but that's how they got me to do their stuff.

Unfortunately, I carried that into my adulthood. When I was able to start working through it, one of the things I learned is that "guilt" is selfish and self-serving. Genuine remorse is another thing. So now whenever I start to feel guilty, I allow myself to see what's really going on that feeling guilty is covering. It can be emotionally painful work but it has such good results that it's worth it to me.


Quote:
Why does this cause so much frustration with me? I should just be able to do things without overthinking them.

Something that a few of the Peer Counseling threads helped me recognize is that when I'm feeling frustrated, it's a signal that I'm wanting to control someone or something. I ask myself how I think that I would be better off if I was able to control whatever it is.


It takes courage, strength and perseverance to deal with these types of things. You have all that. Now it's just a matter of deciding if it's what you want to do at this point in your life. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Just choices and decisions.

Last edited by LivingWell; 03/16/17 06:33 PM. Reason: fixed quote
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: LivingWell] #420381
03/16/17 07:02 PM
03/16/17 07:02 PM
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If you aren't doing anything wrong, simply putting yourself first instead of last, then think about whether the problem is really that you don't value yourself enough.

Is the truth that you don't think either you or your wife should spend time with friends away from the spouses? Or do you resent when your wife does it because you never do? If the latter, then schedule time with friends and don't feel guilty. You'll "pay for it" when your wife does the same thing some other time. If by "pay for it" you mean wife will complain, well, thank her for sharing. Then tell her you are not ashamed of your choice.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: LivingWell] #420382
03/16/17 07:34 PM
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Thank you so much for your in depth perspective. Summed up, it appears that I get frustrated with being a responsible adult.

Two things that aren't summed up by that: The repeat cycle and the guilt/anger for one of us going out.

Repeat Cycle
- Guilt trips occurred regularly growing up. If I was doing something for myself, I would get a 'what about me?' response, even if they were allegedly joking. I never felt good about doing something for myself.

Guilt/Anger for going out
- I have this mentality that if I do something for myself, there will be retaliation for it. I do not like being in debt to anyone. This is why I do not ask for help most of the time.

If I go out, I feel my wife will immediately look to go out with her friends in retaliation, which is most likely not the case at all. I have that mentality when she goes out. It's not anger. It's jealousy...all created in my mind for whatever reason.

My mind is my own demon sometimes. It works against me. I think it assists in blocking my happiness. I cannot pursue true happiness because I'll feel guilty. I've been trained to do so from the guilt trips growing up. I shouldn't feel guilty trying to pursue my happiness.

Now as an adult, I am viewing my responsibilities as guilt trips when my wife gets frustrated with me. They are not the same thing. She is not trying to make me feel guilty. She is being an adult. I am her partner in the responsibility that we created together.

I put the above paragraph in bold blue because it is EXACTLY what the problem is. I need to post this as a reminder to myself as to why I feel this way.

There is always something to do as far as responsibility goes. That's life. That's being adult. That's the life that has been chosen. Get the shinola done and I can feel better about doing things for myself.

This explains why on football Sundays, I get everything done before 1pm. This helps justify in my mind that I have 'earned' the right to watch football that day. Not sure if this is normal, but that's what I do.

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420383
03/16/17 08:05 PM
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I have this "heavy burden" issue too, Obl.

I feel like I can't "play" unless all the work is done. I just snapped at my husband a few days ago "life isn't a GAME Daryl!"

But the approach is ALL WRONG. If you don't force yourself to play, in spite of the work being there, whether it's there or not, you're going to grow old, and bitter and filled with resentment. Your discomfort and anxiety about the work is running the show. You need to make peace with that, manage that, deal with that. Because the work isn't going anywhere. It's a constant. And truthfully, a lot of it isn't NEARLY as important as we are making it most of the time.

Stop letting it own you. Learn to embrace your anxiety and discomfort about it. They're part of you, but they aren't ALL of you.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420384
03/16/17 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
Summed up, it appears that I get frustrated with being a responsible adult.

What do you think about the possibility that the frustration might come from being an over-responsible adult?

What happened in your first family when you weren't responsible enough?


Quote:
Repeat Cycle
- Guilt trips occurred regularly growing up. If I was doing something for myself, I would get a 'what about me?' response, even if they were allegedly joking. I never felt good about doing something for myself.

This sounds to me like what happens in the present when either one of you wants to do something. And since you're an adult now, you get to say "what about me?". But it doesn't sound like you get the same results as others got when you were growing up.

So not fair! I don't blame you for being angry. You're not exactly getting your turn.

The upside to that is that you're not passing on to your kids exactly what you got growing up. It's wonderful for me to watch how my personal recovery progress affects how my grandson is being raised.


Quote:
Guilt/Anger for going out
- I have this mentality that if I do something for myself, there will be retaliation for it. I do not like being in debt to anyone. This is why I do not ask for help most of the time.

How was it decided what you would owe for doing something for yourself? When and how did you find out what the price would be?

When you do something, are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? If your wife doesn't make you pay, do you make yourself pay in some way?


Quote:
If I go out, I feel my wife will immediately look to go out with her friends in retaliation, which is most likely not the case at all. I have that mentality when she goes out. It's not anger. It's jealousy...all created in my mind for whatever reason.

I used to be jealous that others could do stuff like that without feeling guilty and having it interfere with what they were doing. They got more out of what they were doing than I did.

I'll say it again. So not fair!


Quote:
My mind is my own demon sometimes. It works against me. I think it assists in blocking my happiness. I cannot pursue true happiness because I'll feel guilty. I've been trained to do so from the guilt trips growing up. I shouldn't feel guilty trying to pursue my happiness.

What would happen whenever you looked or acted happy growing up?


Quote:
This explains why on football Sundays, I get everything done before 1pm. This helps justify in my mind that I have 'earned' the right to watch football that day. Not sure if this is normal, but that's what I do.

When I thought of things that way it set up future resentment and being short tempered whenever someone interrupted the time I had earned in ways that I didn't want to deal with then. When I changed my view to getting things done so that it wasn't on my mind or hanging over my head and interfering with my activity, it went a lot better.

Also, I was earning things at the pay rate that was imposed when I was growing up. Which meant that I overpaid by a lot. And resented others who just did what they wanted without paying.

So many things get automatically carried into adulthood. Taking some time to figure out what things I actually wanted to keep and which things I wanted to do differently has been an ongoing process throughout my adulthood. And well worth the effort.

Last edited by LivingWell; 03/16/17 08:09 PM. Reason: fixed quote
Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: Oblivious2678] #420385
03/16/17 09:43 PM
03/16/17 09:43 PM
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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TC_Manhattan  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
I feel as if I am always on edge (probably caused by bottling everything in). I feel as if I cannot do anything without having to "check in". The daily call or text "what time will you be home?" "Where are you?" if I don't answer right away.

I feel as if there is always something that I am missing that needs to be done. When I attempt to do something for myself, there's something I missed that has to be done around the house or for the kids or something.

If I do decide to do something, go golfing, visit a friend, I feel as if I will pay for it down the road.

This stuff is mostly in my head. I keep going in circles as this isn't my first go-round with this.

For example, I need to just take the time to visit some friends next Thursday night, friends I haven't seen in a long time. What makes me hesitant is I would go after work and wouldn't be home until around the time the kids go to bed. I feel guilty doing that and I feel angry if my wife did that to me. Both make me hesitate.

Why does this cause so much frustration with me? I should just be able to do things without overthinking them.


Obl, here is an essay of Al Turtle's that talks about frustrations, the lizard, and triggers. I know it gets a bit complicated, so might require reading through a few times. Take your time. I think you have identified a very big part of your frustration/s that has to do with YOU feeling safe, realizing it and learning about it.

My hope is that this might help you begin to untangle it all. I do understand how anxiety-provoking this stuff can be. Bottom line, I think you first need to learn what it takes (and how) to make YOURSELF feel safe before you can reliably help your partner to do so. Just how I see it.

Anyways, here is the link: Healing Frustrations: Finding The Gold

Re: Obl's Pursuit of Happiness [Re: TC_Manhattan] #420387
03/17/17 02:07 AM
03/17/17 02:07 AM
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SmilingWife Offline
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SmilingWife  Offline
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I have the hyper responsible adult mode. It starts to totally suck after a while. Sometimes I want to be the person who goes on a wild spending spree......but I never do it.

It is difficult to find a balance.

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