T Nation

Emily's Playground aka Let's Process our Feelings III

I’m having a hard time identifying my feelings. So, Hockey and I spent the weekend with some friends of his. They’re long married, and difficult to be around. Primarily this is due to the wife’s utter negativity. Part of this is nagging - and sighing and throwing disgusted looks behind his back when he ignored her or didn’t react the way she wanted - and part of it is just doom-prophesying in general, probably due to anxiety, e.g. traffic will be bad, there’ll be lines at restaurant, etc. He’s not reactive to her, he just tunes her out and does what he wants. I felt put in a difficult position when both men ignored her completely when she was expressing things like “I think we should leave” while looking to me for support.

The husband is one of the guys Hockey has been doing golf vacations with for years and years. In speaking of the trips and Hockey the wife mentioned that “they all follow him around like he’s the Pied-Piper - I don’t know how he does it.” (“It” being to tightly control her husband and the other two, presumably.) Anyway, when she said they follow him around like the Pied-Piper the thought that I do, too, popped into my head, and it was unnerving.

Uh-oh, I’m out of time. I’ll post this portion of my feelings (1. encountered a buzzkill, 2. following a pied-piper) and come back to it from work if I have time. lol

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
I’m having a hard time identifying my feelings. So, Hockey and I spent the weekend with some friends of his. They’re long married, and difficult to be around. Primarily this is due to the wife’s utter negativity. Part of this is nagging - and sighing and throwing disgusted looks behind his back when he ignored her or didn’t react the way she wanted - and part of it is just doom-prophesying in general, probably due to anxiety, e.g. traffic will be bad, there’ll be lines at restaurant, etc. He’s not reactive to her, he just tunes her out and does what he wants. I felt put in a difficult position when both men ignored her completely when she was expressing things like “I think we should leave” while looking to me for support.

The husband is one of the guys Hockey has been doing golf vacations with for years and years. The wife mentioned that “they all follow him around like he’s the Pied-Piper - I don’t know how he does it.” (“It” being to tightly control her husband and the other two, presumably.) Anyway, when she said they follow him around like the Pied-Piper the thought that I do, too, popped into my head, and it was unnerving.

Uh-oh, I’m out of time. I’ll post this portion of my feelings (1. encountered a buzzkill, 2. following a pied-piper) and come back to it from work if I have time. lol

[/quote]

So maybe he is an attractive, positive guy that men (and women) like to be around…

Doesn’t sound too bad.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
The husband is one of the guys Hockey has been doing golf vacations with for years and years. In speaking of the trips and Hockey the wife mentioned that “they all follow him around like he’s the Pied-Piper - I don’t know how he does it.” (“It” being to tightly control her husband and the other two, presumably.) Anyway, when she said they follow him around like the Pied-Piper the thought that I do, too, popped into my head, and it was unnerving.
[/quote]

Initial thought is that based on how you’ve described Hockey (and this couple, the wife in particular) this doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all as TQB has said. If you find a good thing should you run away from it instead?

If we want to dissect things a bit it also seems like you might be unnerved by the concept of you being tightly controlled by Hockey. Do you feel tightly controlled, or have any evidence of it?

Bear in mind that you’re also getting this whole concept of “it” from presuming what a highly negative and (unsuccessfully) controlling woman thinks “it” is. Perception != reality and all that.

Just half-baked food for thought.

God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?

[quote]238 wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
The husband is one of the guys Hockey has been doing golf vacations with for years and years. In speaking of the trips and Hockey the wife mentioned that “they all follow him around like he’s the Pied-Piper - I don’t know how he does it.” (“It” being to tightly control her husband and the other two, presumably.) Anyway, when she said they follow him around like the Pied-Piper the thought that I do, too, popped into my head, and it was unnerving.
[/quote]

Initial thought is that based on how you’ve described Hockey (and this couple, the wife in particular) this doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all as TQB has said. If you find a good thing should you run away from it instead?

If we want to dissect things a bit it also seems like you might be unnerved by the concept of you being tightly controlled by Hockey. Do you feel tightly controlled, or have any evidence of it?

Bear in mind that you’re also getting this whole concept of “it” from presuming what a highly negative and (unsuccessfully) controlling woman thinks “it” is. Perception != reality and all that.

Just half-baked food for thought.[/quote]

I meant my post to read that I believe the wife assumes the men need controlling due to her own controlling mindset. I don’t think Hockey tightly controls anybody, and certainly not me, but he does manage things very well, so things go smoothly when - well, when he’s in control. Why NOT follow the most adept person?

So I wasn’t coming in to complain about Hockey’s control or my fear of it, though when I read “If you find a good thing should you run away from it instead?” it occurs to me that I have had some very mild impulses in that direction, probably due to feelings of reliance/dependency.

But anyway, going back to my processing, I have: 1. buzzkill and 2. pied-piper, which left me thinking during my travel home (alone, he stayed to work) about him and them and also how much I like his body, which while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination is perfectly functional (he is very functional in general). So I was having mushy feelings about that and his patience and generosity and willingness to herd cats without complaint, and wrote an email to all of those effects. Just sort of outlining what I prize about him.

But then later I got anxious because I knew that his response would be to briefly acknowledge the email and thank me for it when we spoke later. How I know this is that this is his standard response to such things. So THEN I decided to get insecure because what if he hates these emails, and also my talking about mushy things - what if he wishes I’d STFU for once? At that point I was ready to break up because who needs this kind of grief? But then I remembered that he’d seemed happy enough to be with me when suggested we live together and when we bought a house, which is a fairly significant commitment. But what really made me feel better was getting home to find that while I was at work before we met to go to the airport he’d stacked wood up all around the fireplace - enough wood to last me until he gets home and can carry more in. Even though (ORION) I’m fully capable of carrying it 15’ from the garage myself.

So then I got mushy feeling again. Until it occurred to me that he does so much practical stuff to make my life nice and in return all he gets, really, are words and other displays of affection.

So that added inadequacy to my feelings list.

If men are action-oriented, do they expect the same in return? I know some of you have familiarity with the Five Love Languages - is he looking for acts of service from me? Because that’s clearly what he’s speaking TO me. In return I’m speaking words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time. He does gifts, too, which I have a hard time reciprocating because the stuff he’s getting me is practical stuff he finds at the hardware or outdoor gear stores. I really have no idea what he would find useful but doesn’t already have. Whereas he knows exactly what hardware-y stuff I have. (It’s my clothes that really confound him!)

So again, I’m not really sure what my feelings are except that I still have such a crush on that guy.

Overall I’d say let the evidence speak for itself, most obviously with the house and all. There’s also a minor up side in you knowing what his response to the email will be, it shows that you two are getting closer (although that should be self-evident at this point).

As for your current wonderings…

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
If men are action-oriented, do they expect the same in return? I know some of you have familiarity with the Five Love Languages - is he looking for acts of service from me? Because that’s clearly what he’s speaking TO me. In return I’m speaking words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time. He does gifts, too, which I have a hard time reciprocating because the stuff he’s getting me is practical stuff he finds at the hardware or outdoor gear stores. I really have no idea what he would find useful but doesn’t already have. Whereas he knows exactly what hardware-y stuff I have. (It’s my clothes that really confound him!)
[/quote]

I can’t really speak for anyone but myself, but I’d say no, not always. On the subject of the Five Love Languages, remember that the point of the book is doing the love languages that make your partner feel loved, not doing the ones that you would like to receive from them. My take is that Hockey is just performing acts of service because that’s what he thinks you will like, rather than because he wants you to do the same.

[quote]238 wrote:
Overall I’d say let the evidence speak for itself, most obviously with the house and all. There’s also a minor up side in you knowing what his response to the email will be, it shows that you two are getting closer (although that should be self-evident at this point).

As for your current wonderings…

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
If men are action-oriented, do they expect the same in return? I know some of you have familiarity with the Five Love Languages - is he looking for acts of service from me? Because that’s clearly what he’s speaking TO me. In return I’m speaking words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time. He does gifts, too, which I have a hard time reciprocating because the stuff he’s getting me is practical stuff he finds at the hardware or outdoor gear stores. I really have no idea what he would find useful but doesn’t already have. Whereas he knows exactly what hardware-y stuff I have. (It’s my clothes that really confound him!)
[/quote]

I can’t really speak for anyone but myself, but I’d say no, not always. On the subject of the Five Love Languages, remember that the point of the book is doing the love languages that make your partner feel loved, not doing the ones that you would like to receive from them. My take is that Hockey is just performing acts of service because that’s what he thinks you will like, rather than because he wants you to do the same.[/quote]

He may also have decided that I have no practical skills and hence will starve to death in a cold house if he does not work day and night to prevent it. I agree that the goal is to speak the language that makes the other feel cherished, but it’s difficult to ascertain what that is. I’ve asked him and gotten “I guess I like all of them” so that wasn’t helpful. But on the other hand, if he said acts of service or gifts, I’ll be somewhat lost. I cook and clean, but our work schedules are odd so he cooks as much as I do - and frankly does it better than I do. :frowning: The cleaning would never happen to my standards if I didn’t do it, plus there’s a lot of winter stuff for him to do (splitting wood, plowing, shoveling), so that’s just fair division of labor and can’t really be considered a service. He does ask me how to spell things sometimes (dyslexic as hell) so there’s that, lol.

I think what all of it boils down to is that I’m accustomed to being the emotionally stronger and less dependent partner in my relationships. It’s new for me to be with someone as self-possessed as I am, or more so. I feel naked without my co-dependency.

Breath, Em. Hockey feels like he’s got himself a “catch”. And he’s right. He finds pleasure and purpose in taking care of you with the practical stuff. It fulfills him. All he wants in return are your loyalty, love and respect. Don’t overthink it, hon.

[quote]angry chicken wrote:
Breath, Em. Hockey feels like he’s got himself a “catch”. And he’s right. He finds pleasure and purpose in taking care of you with the practical stuff. It fulfills him. All he wants in return are your loyalty, love and respect. Don’t overthink it, hon.[/quote]

X2!

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?[/quote]

I am sexist, not mysogynistic.

Be that as it may, I will probably still be sexist when you have organized your feelings properly.

[quote]angry chicken wrote:
Breath, Em. Hockey feels like he’s got himself a “catch”. And he’s right. He finds pleasure and purpose in taking care of you with the practical stuff. It fulfills him. All he wants in return are YOUR loyalty, love and respect. Don’t overthink it, hon.[/quote]

And blowjobs, he probably wants those too.

[quote]angry chicken wrote:
Breath, Em. Hockey feels like he’s got himself a “catch”. And he’s right. He finds pleasure and purpose in taking care of you with the practical stuff. It fulfills him. All he wants in return are your loyalty, love and respect. Don’t overthink it, hon.[/quote]

Exactly

[quote]angry chicken wrote:
Breath, Em. Hockey feels like he’s got himself a “catch”. And he’s right. He finds pleasure and purpose in taking care of you with the practical stuff. It fulfills him. All he wants in return are your loyalty, love and respect. Don’t overthink it, hon.[/quote]

Thank you.

I’ve decided that what it all boils down to is that I want him to ask me to marry him. That’s my main feeling: I want to belong to him, and him to me.

So that’s my feeling. It’s all processed now.

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?[/quote]

I am sexist, not mysogynistic.

Be that as it may, I will probably still be sexist when you have organized your feelings properly. [/quote]

So when are you going to note that you totally misjudged and say to yourself “my God, I have to get my sexism under control!” Hmm?

Also, I happily follow anyone worth following. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. If I judge them to be strong and smart and decent, I’m happy to wander along behind.

And lastly, I wonder what you think of Bauber’s Getting Married thread? So many happy people there.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?[/quote]

I am sexist, not mysogynistic.

Be that as it may, I will probably still be sexist when you have organized your feelings properly. [/quote]

So when are you going to note that you totally misjudged and say to yourself “my God, I have to get my sexism under control!” Hmm?

Also, I happily follow anyone worth following. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. If I judge them to be strong and smart and decent, I’m happy to wander along behind.

And lastly, I wonder what you think of Bauber’s Getting Married thread? So many happy people there.[/quote]

I thought I made that clear in that thread?

If he likes her and she is unlikely to be a golddigger, and a possible divorce is not likely to harm him that much, well, he is a grown man and if he wants to put a ring on it, good for him.

I am somewhat conflicted when it comes to “never get married” or “if you find one thats decent, seal the deal”…

Cause they are rare.

Plus, I was such a nice guy.

I had to work very hard for my sexism and now you want me to throw it all away?

Never!

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?[/quote]

I am sexist, not mysogynistic.

Be that as it may, I will probably still be sexist when you have organized your feelings properly. [/quote]

So when are you going to note that you totally misjudged and say to yourself “my God, I have to get my sexism under control!” Hmm?

Also, I happily follow anyone worth following. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. If I judge them to be strong and smart and decent, I’m happy to wander along behind.

And lastly, I wonder what you think of Bauber’s Getting Married thread? So many happy people there.[/quote]

I thought I made that clear in that thread?

If he likes her and she is unlikely to be a golddigger, and a possible divorce is not likely to harm him that much, well, he is a grown man and if he wants to put a ring on it, good for him.

I am somewhat conflicted when it comes to “never get married” or “if you find one thats decent, seal the deal”…

Cause they are rare. [/quote]

I think what that thread suggests is that they are not rare.

I spoke to my ex-husband this week for the first time in a while. He’s decided to give up on women because “I guess I’m just too much of an asshole for it to ever work.” I was conflicted as to the proper response. “Yeah, probably so” seemed the strongest contender, but kind of negative, so I went with “oh, I don’t know” and blah blah blah good qualities. I offered that maybe trying to figure out what drew him to the Taiwanese woman who’d do anything he said, what went wrong, etc, but “I try not to think about her.” Well okay, then! Continue on your merry way.

It’s sad, because he liked the companionability of our marriage and he doesn’t know how to make friends, but at some point don’t you figure out who you are and what sort of person matches you? On the other hand, he really does have a lousy disposition, and I’m not sure what sort of person matches that. :-/

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:
God forbid that you might want to follow a man other men like to follow.

They will take away your feminist merit badge.

It will be like a de-knighting or some such…[/quote]

I haven’t even fully identified my feelings yet, much less processed them! Do you mind holding off on your misogynistic assumptions until I can finish organizing myself, please?[/quote]

I am sexist, not mysogynistic.

Be that as it may, I will probably still be sexist when you have organized your feelings properly. [/quote]

So when are you going to note that you totally misjudged and say to yourself “my God, I have to get my sexism under control!” Hmm?

Also, I happily follow anyone worth following. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. If I judge them to be strong and smart and decent, I’m happy to wander along behind.

And lastly, I wonder what you think of Bauber’s Getting Married thread? So many happy people there.[/quote]

I thought I made that clear in that thread?

If he likes her and she is unlikely to be a golddigger, and a possible divorce is not likely to harm him that much, well, he is a grown man and if he wants to put a ring on it, good for him.

I am somewhat conflicted when it comes to “never get married” or “if you find one thats decent, seal the deal”…

Cause they are rare. [/quote]

I think what that thread suggests is that they are not rare.

[/quote]

Well, then I suggest you hop over to Baubers thread and explain to him that his fiancee is a dime a dozend.*

Good luck!

  • Bauber, I never, ever would even insinuate, I swear! But she has, that is women for you, I was merely pointing it out…

A dime a dozen is 83%

Rare is ~10%