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Panuru
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27 Nov 2021, 1:44 pm

Hello. I'm 43 and I've never had a friend*.

While this always has been wearisome, it's really coming to a head lately. I have twins who are six years old, and it is a completely overwhelming experience. In other words it's a time when I could really benefit from having a support network. Unfortunately it's also a time when there isn't any availability or energy left to build one. That's even assuming I could in the first place (refer to top line), and additionally at this point in life people seem to have cemented friendships rather than being on the lookout to make new ones. Another part of what I mean when I say it's coming to a head is just practical. As an example, the kids are at an age where they're starting to have an interest in hosting a birthday party. I've never had one nor been to one, so I don't have the faintest practical idea what this entails. I say "practical" because of course I've seen them in movies or such, but I'm not going to rely on movies as accurate depictions of anything.

As I've said it's all every overwhelming. The temptation to resume self-harm is very strong, but with the little inquisitors around the house I know that I wouldn't be able to keep the injuries hidden as I have in the past, so I need to refrain in order to set a good example.

I do have a wife, but all she seems interested in is watching television. I really hate television, so I can't spend time with her as a result. Yes I have brought this up, but she neither wants to do any of my specific suggestions for alternate activities nor can come up with anything on her own. As far as affection is concerned, I get an annual kiss on New Year's because she is a stickler for tradition. We can talk about problems that need to be solved regarding the kids, but otherwise she seems to only listen to me to the extent that she's finding something to criticize. She refuses to see a counselor together, and when I've seen one on my own they inevitably end up at a loss of how to deal with things if she's not willing to be present.

With apologies for all of that being negative, I suppose it makes sense as I wouldn't be reaching out to strangers on the internet if things were going well. I would appreciate any guidance on where to start, either within this site or in general.


*In case anybody is wondering, here is my definition. I've never been offered nor had my own offer accepted to spend time together outside of a professional or other organizational setting.



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27 Nov 2021, 5:31 pm

Welcome to WP. I hope you find it helpful.

I don't think I can offer any useful insights, though. Sorry.


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Panuru
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27 Nov 2021, 6:16 pm

I appreciate the welcome, regardless.



Rexi
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27 Nov 2021, 6:37 pm

So your wife has stopped giving affection, your relationship romance is gone, she is criticizing you because (and i think ever since she fell out of love she has been doing it, could be like 6 years? if we go on the theory shes just out of love) this is what happens when people are first falling out of love and can continue indefinitely, but it's not exclusive to falling out of love. There could be the example where there's hostility or frustration between the two which can't be managed properly so it grows as time goes by. Falling out of love can simply not be helped in the majority of cases, especially if she is unwilling to help it. Any reason she doesnt want to get help for your relationship by going to couple therapy?

Has she told you that any physical touch is uncomfortable lately, what does she say when you ask for affection exactly, why can't she give it and what changed? What can you do exactly through her words, for it to be fixed?

Her TV obsession is becoming detrimental to her relationships (and maybe chores too and adulting), but there certainly is this issue with affection, which is beyond the TV. TV is not the primary cause for her lack of affection.

Has anything happened around the time the TV obsession started or otherwise around the lack of affection starting point?

Small suggestion, since you're at the point where you've come to ask for external help, I think you're just too vulnerable so try to postpone any arguments or talks about sensitive topics with her for now.

We do know from research that where one partner doesn't put the relationship first, even before kids, they're playing with fire. Children will try to push the partners apart and against each other as soon as they are able to manipulate, so it's imperative for partners to agree on things and stick together united.

About your self harm, its nice that you dont want to set a bad example for your children but better if you can find in yourself the joy of being able to resist the urge of self harm and the strength and satisfaction of where you've come by defeating it and the importance of not letting life's hardships get the better of you and making it worse for you. I'm sending you strength on this journey of resistance, the road is long and enduring, but you have done it before and you can do it again, and you will be the one which will reap the full benefits of it for the rest of your better journey having defeated the addiction of self harm.

In the meantime, while putting hold on this difficult time in your life, what positive output for all this stress do you think you would enjoy to try out? You're not going anywhere so take this chance to get some healing before having renewed force to go into such a battle again. It will benefit nobody if you mentally break. You could lose your mind, or memories. You and your children need you to get better.


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Last edited by Rexi on 27 Nov 2021, 7:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.

890099
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27 Nov 2021, 6:47 pm

You have a lot going on. Posting this, or parts of it, in the following forums hopefully would be useful.

Making Friends Forum
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=7
Love and Dating Forum
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=6
Parent Discussion Form
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=19



Rexi
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27 Nov 2021, 7:11 pm

What is this Batman 2 Lego thing? Is it a PS game? I've always loved the animated series, watched them to completion. I never had a playstation, but recently my fiance got me a good gaming computer so I've been searching through all these games, and the tags get so confusing. Co-op, online co-op, mmo, multiplayer shooter, team based strategy which I think has the name of Battle Royale and some tags on Steam are even wrong. Been trying Remote Play Together lately which is I guess he streams the game from his computer through his connection. It has been quite laggy on my friend's connection though, he doesnt have good internet though.


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Panuru
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27 Nov 2021, 8:20 pm

Rexi wrote:
So your wife has stopped giving affection, your relationship romance is gone, she is criticizing you because (and i think ever since she fell out of love she has been doing it, could be like 6 years?...any reason she doesnt want to get help for your relationship by going to couple therapy?

Maybe four years. As for whether anything happened, certainly nothing comes to mind. It's possible something did happen and this is turning into an extreme case of the "I'm going to be mad at you but refuse to tell you what you did to make me mad" woman strategy (with apologies for stereotyping). The reasons given for not going to therapy are excuses, such as not having the time to go in person, not wanting to do it over the phone instead, etc. It's never a direct rejection of the concept of doing it, but it's never agreement.

The notion of falling out of love is one that has always baffled me. You love someone for who they are, and they're always who they are, so I don't get why you would stop loving them. But I recognize that's me being weird instead of the other 99.99% of humanity being unreasonable. Perhaps because of how my life has been, I'm not even sure that I correctly recognize love. I was talking to a counselor once and he started describing a relationship as the other person saying good things about you, randomly wanting to hold you, doing good things for you, smiling at you, offering support when they think you need it, etc. I almost laughed in his face about getting his idea of love from dime romance novels until I realized he was being serious. I just have no concept of another person treating me that way at all; I wouldn't even know to expect it or that it existed in real life if he hadn't brought it up. That's maybe self-centered because it is it the way that I treat people I'm in love with so why think I'm exceptional and the only person to act that way. But experience never taught me that anything like that could be directed at me, so I guess I never believed it might exist.

Rexi wrote:
Has she told you that any physical touch is uncomfortable lately, what does she say when you ask for affection exactly, why can't she give it and what changed? What can you do exactly through her words, for it to be fixed?

What she says exactly is "No." Maybe "Go away." If it's either in the excitement of a moment or just feeling like making contact, doing so much as putting my hand on her shoulder gets it swatted away.

Rexi wrote:
About your self harm, its nice that you dont want to set a bad example for your children but better if you can find in yourself the joy of being able to resist the urge of self harm and the strength and satisfaction of where you've come by defeating it and the importance of not letting life's hardships get the better of you and making it worse for you.

The reason I self-harmed before was as catharsis to get rid of negative emotions. All I get from abstaining is those negative emotions bottling up, not a sense of accomplishment.

Rexi wrote:
In the meantime, while putting hold on this difficult time in your life, what positive output for all this stress do you think you would enjoy to try out? It will benefit nobody if you mentally break.

Certainly it wouldn't benefit anybody, but it's not something done by choice. The only two beneficial outputs I've ever found are self-harm and sex, and I've been cut off from both of those for years. As I've said it would be nice to give friendship a try, but I don't honestly know if it would help and even more honestly wouldn't even know how to go about doing it.

Rexi wrote:
What is this Batman 2 Lego thing? Is it a PS game?

The "Lego ___" series of games is on multiple systems and are all pretty straightforward in terms of gameplay. They're basically pushing a button to smash things (and people) that humorously break into Lego bricks.



Panuru
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27 Nov 2021, 8:20 pm

890099 wrote:
You have a lot going on. Posting this, or parts of it, in the following forums hopefully would be useful.

Making Friends Forum
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=7
Love and Dating Forum
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=6
Parent Discussion Form
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=19

Thank you for the suggestion.



Rexi
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27 Nov 2021, 10:56 pm

Panuru wrote:
Rexi wrote:
So your wife has stopped giving affection, your relationship romance is gone, she is criticizing you because (and i think ever since she fell out of love she has been doing it, could be like 6 years?...any reason she doesnt want to get help for your relationship by going to couple therapy?

Maybe four years. As for whether anything happened, certainly nothing comes to mind. It's possible something did happen and this is turning into an extreme case of the "I'm going to be mad at you but refuse to tell you what you did to make me mad" woman strategy (with apologies for stereotyping). The reasons given for not going to therapy are excuses, such as not having the time to go in person, not wanting to do it over the phone instead, etc. It's never a direct rejection of the concept of doing it, but it's never agreement.

The notion of falling out of love is one that has always baffled me. You love someone for who they are, and they're always who they are, so I don't get why you would stop loving them. But I recognize that's me being weird instead of the other 99.99% of humanity being unreasonable. Perhaps because of how my life has been, I'm not even sure that I correctly recognize love. I was talking to a counselor once and he started describing a relationship as the other person saying good things about you, randomly wanting to hold you, doing good things for you, smiling at you, offering support when they think you need it, etc. I almost laughed in his face about getting his idea of love from dime romance novels until I realized he was being serious. I just have no concept of another person treating me that way at all; I wouldn't even know to expect it or that it existed in real life if he hadn't brought it up. That's maybe self-centered because it is it the way that I treat people I'm in love with so why think I'm exceptional and the only person to act that way. But experience never taught me that anything like that could be directed at me, so I guess I never believed it might exist.

Rexi wrote:
Has she told you that any physical touch is uncomfortable lately, what does she say when you ask for affection exactly, why can't she give it and what changed? What can you do exactly through her words, for it to be fixed?

What she says exactly is "No." Maybe "Go away." If it's either in the excitement of a moment or just feeling like making contact, doing so much as putting my hand on her shoulder gets it swatted away.

Rexi wrote:
About your self harm, its nice that you dont want to set a bad example for your children but better if you can find in yourself the joy of being able to resist the urge of self harm and the strength and satisfaction of where you've come by defeating it and the importance of not letting life's hardships get the better of you and making it worse for you.

The reason I self-harmed before was as catharsis to get rid of negative emotions. All I get from abstaining is those negative emotions bottling up, not a sense of accomplishment.

Rexi wrote:
In the meantime, while putting hold on this difficult time in your life, what positive output for all this stress do you think you would enjoy to try out? It will benefit nobody if you mentally break.

Certainly it wouldn't benefit anybody, but it's not something done by choice. The only two beneficial outputs I've ever found are self-harm and sex, and I've been cut off from both of those for years. As I've said it would be nice to give friendship a try, but I don't honestly know if it would help and even more honestly wouldn't even know how to go about doing it.

Rexi wrote:
What is this Batman 2 Lego thing? Is it a PS game?

The "Lego ___" series of games is on multiple systems and are all pretty straightforward in terms of gameplay. They're basically pushing a button to smash things (and people) that humorously break into Lego bricks.

Hmm, well its been a long time, 4 yrs, I'm thinking the initial issues might not apply anyway but it could help if she comes clean about them so you can move past them and get some trust and comfort in each other back. But she is getting annoyed constantly about some things which has become obvious now. And she doesnt want affection with you but talks about kids.

Her replies seem like shes not in the right mood for that. I'm not sure what's wrong, but maybe she doesn't feel well emotionally. I'm not surprised if this is true because you've not bonded for many years now. Sex without good times and strong feelings is not nice. I think a better approach could be touching her heart instead of her body for the beginning.
But also communicating you mean no harm to her. Asking her what's wrong and if you can do anything to make her feel better. I'm not s=too sure why you dont wanna g alone to a psychologist especially now in your state, the beginning isnt fun but as you settle into it, it's better experiece alone than as a couple. And you can probably get rid of excuses and go better than her. Then maybe its easier to convince her to come along with you? Idk, just an idea.

No wonder youve been cut off of sex, its not genuine and you've been harming yourself and her through it while ruining your relationship. It might all not be a strategy but real issues.

Friendship won't fix your issues, it will both add and take from you. You will run into things you'll have to talk about with them, the same as in romantic relationships, and fix, and times you have to let go if it's not the right thing. It can be an added challenge, if you don't know how to navigate it and put boundaries, and express what you want to do and what you dont want to do, but regardless of what you do, even if you just game, sometimes you might just need to talk hard things out regardlessly. Perhaps not right now is a good time for friendships, you are unsure for good reason and it's never happened before.

Well movie stuff is one thing, but we know that statistically relationships that have a movie aura don't tend to last. But obviously crappy ones don't last either.

"The notion of falling out of love is one that has always baffled me. " - i completely agree with you. In psychology they recognize most people fall out of love at some point, and there are very few people who never do. There's this movie saying "I keep falling in love over and over again with you" - pretty accurate from my point of view on falling in love in my experience.

Don't be fooled, though, you make mistakes that you probably don't remember or realize at all times. You can only change your behaviour which is what I suggest you pay more attention to, in areas you're not usually focused on a lot which you probably perfected o they probably don't need work much anymore. But the communication about things is better if improves too. Shes maybe been feeling terrible for 4 years and you feel terrible too because she does.

The excuses about the psychologist can surely seem big but aren't. I can be a serial excuse maker myself, and it seems huge and it overwhelms me. It's very possible to do. Maybe offer to help her with things that give her more time. Making time for important things is necessary in life though, she needs to build that skill and make excuses to do it instead of not to. you can help her stop making excuses with guides or with helping out with her chores.

Well, looks like treating you "in love" existed for you for a while, but right now it's missing.
You are talking about true lasting love, he was talking about romantic love, and being in love, perhaps "puppy love". There is a slight difference but in most cases both apply. For the majority of people that's what a full relationship and love means. Prioritizing is a great aspect if not the most important that applies to both in different ways, often overlooked.

I don't expect you to automatically get a sense of accomplishment especially right after abstaining. I do believe it's better if you can build it when you're more calm, and with yourself though. Be proud of it! You're controlling yourself in situations that are level 10, maximum. Just this in itself is a great reason to feel good about yourself and your progress. Even though abstinaton doesnt seem like much, because you're getting through times you've not reached often, really low, you are progressing towards higher strength and endurance and you've been doing it for a while now. You rock, man!

On the other side, I understand your desire for it to stop, which is why I thought you need a break from battle and would greatly benefit from one. I know some things we can't avoid but there can be a time where we just stop and breathe. And I also think that you need a good output of those emotions, to take them out in a healthy way and to achieve some relaxing times where you don't have to be full and charged, to stop the storm. For autistic people it may be interests, hyperfocusing on interests or being alone, taking a walk.


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Panuru
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28 Nov 2021, 6:23 pm

Rexi wrote:
No wonder youve been cut off of sex, its not genuine and you've been harming yourself and her through it while ruining your relationship. It might all not be a strategy but real issues.

Actually she's asexual, so with her I've been cut off from it forever. I'm hypersexual to the point that it destroyed all of my previous relationships, so the only option to have a relationship last any amount of time seemed to be taking sex out of it entirely.



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29 Nov 2021, 12:11 am

Rexi wrote:
The excuses about the psychologist can surely seem big but aren't. I can be a serial excuse maker myself, and it seems huge and it overwhelms me. It's very possible to do. Maybe offer to help her with things that give her more time. Making time for important things is necessary in life though, she needs to build that skill and make excuses to do it instead of not to. you can help her stop making excuses with guides or with helping out with her chores

This looks to me like good advice. I agree. On the other hand...

Rexi wrote:
Friendship won't fix your issues, it will both add and take from you. You will run into things you'll have to talk about with them, the same as in romantic relationships, and fix, and times you have to let go if it's not the right thing. It can be an added challenge, if you don't know how to navigate it and put boundaries, and express what you want to do and what you dont want to do, but regardless of what you do, even if you just game, sometimes you might just need to talk hard things out regardlessly. Perhaps not right now is a good time for friendships, you are unsure for good reason and it's never happened before.

Depends on the nature of the friendship. Seems to me he specifically needs the kind of friendship in which one can discuss personal matters such as his marriage problems. If he's lucky he might be able to make such a friend here on WP, if any suitable WP members happen to live near him. Yes, friendship presents its own challenges, and in and of itself it won't solve his marriage problems, but I nevertheless think it would be good for him to have at least one friend if possible.


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