With Divorce & Affairs & Misery, Is There Anything To Look Forward To? - Relationship Advice

Dear Veronica,

I'm reading this artical [For Unhappily Married Men: Kids Change Everything] as a young female in a long term relationship. I have no urge to have kids, but I'm just reading some of the responses here. How miserable people are, how bleak everything is, how sex is still the be all and end all.

Can someone answer me honestly, is there ANYTHING to look forward to in life? I couldn't stand the thought of my long term boyfriend having an affair, it would completely crush me, yet I read this and some people have been having affairs for YEARS? I agree with the pressure thing, people ask me if I'm pregnant about every year I catch up with them.

But if I don't want to have kids I'm a tigh a**ed career focused woman who is grouchy and depressed with no joy in her life. HOW IS THAT FAIR? Society has pretty f*cked up stereotypes.

But back to the original questoin, is anything in life worth looking forward to if marriage ends in affairs and kids end in divorce?

- Confused

Confused,

Thank you so much for your comment. It struck me hard. I felt it was serious enough to warrant its own Hub.

Let me tell you two facts. Facts. And hopefully these will help you.

1 - Happy people tend not to google articles like this one. They may be looking for a friend, or accidently stumble upon it. But in general, happily married people don't comment in these articles all that often. So, the hundreds of responses on my hubs that you're referring to, you need to keep in mind that they tend to be from people having these issues and seeking some help. This is a poor metaphor, but it's like going to an AA meeting and saying, doesn't anyone have the ability to drink without having a drinking problem? The answer is yes, just not in that room.

So keep in mind that there are tons of people out there that are not commenting here, because they are out having nice lives. I have to seek them out when I am polling and gathering info for articles. 

2 - You are correct, there are many very miserable married people out there. But if you read several dozen of my articles, and you observe the real story inbetween the lines of the comments and emails from the unhappy people, many (not all, but many) have one central theme. And that theme is that these people wanted what they wanted, and didn't really care or listen to what a potential partner wanted. They get involved in relationships before they are mature enough to be good individuals which is required before they can be good partners. They decide they want kids at a very early age and rush into these major life choices without much research, maturity, or awarity. 

Of course there are people that do everything in a smart fashion. And they still wind up hurt. But these people are in the minority. Many people actually create at least some of the circumstances that go forward in their lives contributing to that perfect storm where partners cheat, parenthood fails, and life is miserable.

The very concept that you are not in a place where you're trying to have children but you were reading that article says volumes about you.

Yes, Confused. There are a lot of things in life to look forward to. You can have a good life. You can be smart about your life steps and patient about your choices. I have every reason to believe you will have a good life, and you should too.

Here's some ideas for you. They are spread through out my 200+ Hubpages. If you wanted to, you could read through them and see these lessons over and over, first hand.

1 - Love yourself. Respect yourself. Grow yourself. You get to set the tone of how the world is going to treat you. If you don't love and respect yourself, you will attract others that will follow suit. Know the difference between being able to compromise, and in being a doormat.

2 - Date different people. There are so many different types of people and different kinds of relationships. You really can't know which ones will feel best to you until you check out some different ones. Grow your personality. Have interests and hobbies. Work on your career, or on the arts that you enjoy, or on the charity work that is close to your heart. Develop your path and become a "person." That is absolutely the best way to eventually find the right partner for you when the time is good. The guy who is attracted to you because you were the coolest girl in the 11th grade is going to turn out to be much different in your life than the guy that is attracted to you because he shares your love of animals, thinks you're a fascinating person, and enjoys talking to you because you're so independent and interesting.

Don't rush from one relationship to the next. Take the time to be You. If you can't be alone with yourself, you can't reasonably expect anyone else to be able to either. Make friends and have a life. Sounds silly? You'd be surprised at how many people write and comment that they don't have a life, and depend on their partner to create one for them. Then they are confused when the potential partner is bored and miserable with them and seeks companionship elsewhere.

3 - Don't reduce everything to sex. Let me give you another metaphor. For many people, when they've had a stressful day, they will unwind by having a drink. When someone gets hurt, dumped, fired, upset, suffers a death in the family, etc, they may say wow I could really use a drink. You wouldn't look at that and say, "It all comes down to alcohol. Everyone just wants a drink, that's the bottom line of everything."

Obviously it isn't. It's just a way people can escape from what's really going on in their lives. The affairs and cheating and all that you were referring to is the same. For many of those people it really wasn't about sex. They cheated because their wives changed, they don't see them the way they did when they fell in love, they screwed up and are trying to escape, they feel out of control and use sex as something they can control. They are bored. They feel they married too young and that they're missing out on things. They gave up their dreams. They feel trapped at a job they hate. They weren't ready to have kids and feel stuck and smothering. The list goes on.

Cheating is never the answer to these things. It doesn't solve anything. It only makes everything worse. But nevertheless it is still the course of action some people take.

Of course the physical relationship you share with a partner is important. We are human. We are sexual creatures. And the intimate relationship you share is often a tangible expression of your emotions and your trust. Of course it is very important. But just don't confuse that with the fact that people cheat for many many reasons, and sex is not the primary one.

4 - I don't know your age, but if you are patient about finding the right partner, you've beaten alot of the odds right there. Don't undervalue the changes we all go through at the end of our 20's. You have a much bigger chance of winding up divorced if you marry before the age 29. There's a reason for that.

You made reference to a long term boyfriend. I don't know if you have one, or if you were just saying that if you did, if he had a long term affair how awful that would be. You reduce your odds of winding up in that situation if you are a good partner. Being a good partner can only come after you're good solo. Once you're a Person you have the ability of being part of a team. If you aren't able to listen to your partner, compromise without losing yourself, and agree on life steps together in unison, then you aren't a good partner and you aren't ready for a real partnership.

Many people that wind up miserable are guilty of forcing the wrong relationship along. They find someone and force their choices on them, threaten or bully them into changing, dismiss their fears and dreams, or otherwise cling desperately to the wrong relationship. It doesn't matter if you're a guy, a girl, a career person, or a wanna-be-parent. There are relationships that work, and ones that don't. You have to have the ability to see the difference and to know where you want to be.

5 - You said if you don't want kids, society unfairly stereotypes you as a hard assed career bitch.

I don't have kids. I never wanted them. I wanted something different. My husband and I are married 12 years now, and we're happy. We've dedicated a great deal of our lives to the charity work that means a lot to us. I'm a writer, and he owns his own business. We like to travel, we like art, we like to go dancing and to concerts. We have an interesting life, and we remain interested in each other. No one thinks of me as a hard assed career woman. And if they don't understand who I am, that's OK, it doesn't change who I am.

You may be right and there may be sterotypes that follow your life choices. But that can't be something that affects your choices. You have to do what makes you happy. You have the right to pursue the life you want. I must say, it is really fucked up that people catch up with you by asking if you're pregnant. Instead of actually being your friend by knowing you, they inflict that brainwashed societal profile onto you.

6 - The grouchy comment may be something you want to explore though. Being a career woman and not wanting kids, has nothing to do with being grouchy. If you feel people think you are grouchy you may want to explore why. It's not an automatic adjective that goes with two otherwise healthy life choices.

7 - This sounds so simple it's ridiculous but it's so important. Honest communication is the key to your happiness in any relationship. Many things will occur during your life, from illnesses to family issues, to pregnancy to financial problems, to work stress and more. If you can't talk to your partner about any and all of them, you are in trouble. If you are with someone that you can't honestly be yourself with and talk with openly, you are headed for a crash. And the same goes in reverse. If you feel your partner isn't communicating honestly and openly with you, you really need to re-evaluate this relationship choice. If your partner keeps things bottled up, or turns to his mother or his ex or his coworker instead of you when he needs a little support, that is a clear sign he isn't going to be there with you through a good solid happy future.

*****

Confused, I really hope this Hub gives you some hope and some tools you can take with you into your happy future. Thanks for your comment. Best to you.

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4 comments

Confused 6 years ago

Oh my god, I can't believe I got a personalized response from the author!! I just posted this yesterday?!

Thank you for taking the time to write back, it was a shock, haha.

I'm 24 years old, yes, I do not fit into many of the catagories of these people. Yes, I did say long term boyfriend to make it sound better. We've seen complete;y inseperable, but only for about 1 and a half years. I realise now how immature that sounds. Sorry

But I was literally crying last night because I was very scared of the future. WHAT is the future? It sounded so bleak, and I felt backed into a corner. It just seems kids ruin everything in relationships, I know many people in their 40's who have been there done that, none of them are happy. But I compared my thoughts and realised THESE people weren't unhappy because they had kids, they were unhappy for other reasons. Mostly as you said, the relationship factor.

I don't want to have kids now, but I feel pressured to have them before I'm 30, simply because its 'expected' and I feel like I'm running out of time, I'm fucking 24 and I feel like I'm going through some kind of mid life crisis.

BUT, you are right, screw society. I can make my own choices, and if I never want kids, its OK. No one can forcefully inpregnate me. I guess it also helps I don't fit the stereotype, I'm an artist, not a business woman or basically anyone who hates their job. I love what I do, therefore I guess I'm alot more at peace with my life atm.

But theres always the other side, my other half. I adore my boyfriend, but the fact after reading some of these things yesterday in my mind we were already finished. Then I reminded myself I was being irrational.

In relationships, how do you distinguise between

'He would never cheat on me, you are wrong, everyone wrong, I love him and hes always gonna love me no matter what *blocks ears* LALALLAA'

from my current mindframe which I don't like but I can't shake

'Its inevitable. I always have to look over my shoulder. Why bother when statistically at my age this relationship will be over in another 2 years. I should just EXPECT the bad things to happen, I'll have kids, I'll get divorced, I'll end up alone'

I can't shake this!!

I apologise again to anyone who is having genuine miserable lives and thinks I'm an immature girly idiot. I'm really not, but its rare I get decent advice from someone older and wiser. Again I'm sorry, I do not claim to understand anything your going through.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

confused,

You said you feel like you are going through a midlife crisis and you are only 24.

Here's what's happening:

There are two major life changes that normally surround your age. The first is the development of your frontal lobes. This is commonly going on around the age of 21 and is usually more dramatic for males than females. But it can surely be a big deal for females too, and it can happen a little late. The frontal lobe is the part of your brain that governs rational thought. It comprehends things like long-term commitment, and actual consequence. It's a physiological change. A part of the brain that physically did not exist before, now exists, and everything changes. You suddenly have the ability to be aware of failure, misery, responsibility, choices, you can suddenly think about 20 or 40 years up the road. It's a major change in the way you can comprehend the world.

The second change usually occurs around the age of 28. It's referred to as the Rites of Passage and the Saturn Return among other names. It's a psychological change. It's considered the age of manhood in many spiritually based cultures. It's when you have a major change about the way you see yourself. You realize more clearly the things that you want. You become focused and your thoughts become powerful. This is when many people stand up and say what they truly want in their lives for the very first time with sureness and confidence.

I don't know exactly what's going on - if you're frontal lobe development is having a latent impact, if your Saturn Return began early (which is very common for artists) or if it's a bit of a combination of both. But I assure you, all the things you are feeling relate to one or both of these very major life changes.

Personally I think it makes for a responsible and happy mature adult when you allow yourself to move through all these kinds of life thinking, including the shitty stuff. The paranoia, the fear, the doom & gloom. Being prepared for the major life changes that are ahead of you. I realize that right now it doesn't feel so good to get so worked up you're crying, but I hope you'll believe me, this is just prelude to making good sounds life choices in your future. You do not have to have a corporate job, you do not have to have children, you do not have to get married, you could wind up with your puppy love, you could be a happy artist. Anything is possible. It's up to you to write the script and make it happen.

xo


Confused 6 years ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, you are a million times more active than many other bloggers I've read, who don't check back for months.

The science aspect was very interesting. Thanks, I'll read up on that later.

I came across the above mentioned artical because I am going through a few daddy issues at the moment. He only has 4-5 years left because of his heart condition, and the fact he missed my entire childhood because he went to work in another country is rearing its head. He did this to my half sister too, and shes got major issues as well.

So in frustration I googled 'Men hate their kids' and got your page.

I guess I have to go with the ride, instead of trying to predict whats going to happen.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Confused,

I have more than 200 articles on this site alone. I'm set up to get an email alert when a new comment comes in, and I always respond as quickly as I can but sometimes the alert doesn't come through for whatever reason, so I miss out on some of the feedback.

I am sorry to hear about your dad. I've gotten many comments and emails with a similar feel. No kid (or former kid) ever writes in and says "I'm so glad dad earned so much money even though we never saw him," or "I'm so glad mom and dad stayed together and were miserable." We all want to remember the happy things, the time spent together, and feeling like your one on one time with either parent was valuable and happy.

We're all at least a little damaged because of our parents. It's inevitable. Whatever they do or didn't do comes up in therapy eventually.

This kind of thought is very much related to the Rites of Passage by the way. You're going through something big. It's not in your head, and it's not abnormal. (In case you were wondering.)

I don't know what your dad's deal was. Maybe you have figured it out. All I can tell you is to try to learn from it all so that you can carve out the best pathway possibly for yourself in your life. Use everything you're feeling and seeing as a frame of reference for the choices you make for yourself. Be empowered by this information, and by your wonderful depth and ability to feel.

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