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Diversity and PreValidation: The Essay — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback:Welcome – Al Turtle's Relationship Wisdom

  2. Dear Al, what a wonderful tool you teach. I really appreciate that you put it in such good analogy as a icebergs. It makes sense!
    I have been trying to understand the” sense” my ex husband’s (and my own!) ever since he left seven years ago. We were married for 20 years then. I am not sure what kind of clingers/avoiders we were, but he often lived by himself, traveled a lot. It seems to me that I am an avoiding clinger. – I am very much content by myself as long as I have secure knowledge that my relationships are safe and stable ( I guess I am willing to take lie as long as oi a assured that everything is intact). After the divorce I learned that my ex was having all kind of affairs and fun, whereas I was working hard on my exams, degree and career to make sure that our family will be together and better of. I moved to the US with our child and he stood behind in our old country. He moved here eventually, but he lived in the different city and commuted every weekend. He assure me that he wants to be with me. We divorced after I moved with him. The end of marriage was due an affair with the woman 25 years younger than him, who has no desire to work, but she encourages him to work very hard. He is terrified to lose her and clings to her like mad! He was clinging to me in the past from time to time, but not too much. I do not act as a clinger until the real danger of losing relationships. Than I really get in terrific panic. You see, my mother abandoned me when I was less than year old. I have the spence of fear of abandonment that is far beyond the “normal” sense. It is like animalistic terror and I do lose control no matter what insight I have.
    My ex husband was also abandoned by his mother, but in different way: she left him in the hospital when he was six for a two years, but she was visiting him from time to time. He was in a full body cast and each visit was a horrific scene when he was begging her not to live and she lied and was leaving anyway. She an his father moved from the city where they left their son. Eventually the cast was taken away, they got their son back, but he seemed never recovered from it well. the whole thing and relationships in the family were revolving around ” but we had to move because my husband had a job”. She was not a little obedient housewife – she was a pediatrician! I am writing it as short as I can, it make no sense not because I am omitting details etc. they had never talked about it, never had any doubts that they did something wrong, always labeled their son as an “odd” and a loser….
    Anyways, when my husband was leaving he accused me that i restrain and confine him. It was true as he lived alone before i came and when i moved in it was very little space for both of us. He clearly treated me like I was his mother, but I am not! I have very little resemblance with her, except perhaps that I am pediatrician too and i was recovering from the surgery ( she was a doctor and as long as I know her she is always ill, but not quite as she can rise from her il bed in a minute if an opportunity to travel or theater, or shopping or anything fun comes up). Amazingly, his new wife is seems to me a very similar to his mother, but not in a surface, rather in essence of personality.
    I feel very sad about all this development and cannot recover well. Feel very traumatized, though I am alive and fairly well. Inside is such a pain. Perhaps I shouldn’t bother you with all this, but since I wrote such a long story, so be it…

    • Well, Alla, I can see a little into the story you tell, and I have fun trying to see the sense of all the people in it. My dad was a pediatrician, too. Small world. Thanks to his difficulties and my mom’s, I had a lot to learn, too. I imagine that the problem of Clinger/Avoider is important, but a bigger one is about lack of intimacy. Sounds as if a lot of lying was going on while people thought all was ok. Deceit leads to big surprises.

      To understand his sense the first step is to be fully aware he has it, his sense, and then you have to get him to tell you. In this situation I wonder why he was not moving toward telling you his sense and why you were not noticing that he was keeping secrets. And at this point, besides my pointing out you have great lessons to learn, I’m wondering what I can do for you.

      I saw lots of clues to trouble. “He clearly treated me like I was his mother, but I am not!” Here’s a clue into argument and Master/Slave troubles. That could reveal that sense in the lying and secrecy.

      Good luck.

      P.S. if you write a lengthy story here, I sometimes take my time in responding. But then, I am retired, so I sometimes take my time in any case. 🙂

      • Thank you Al for replying to me. i realize you are retired and do not want to bother you with this old stuff. i put a story of 15 years in as short as possible paragraph. you are right saying that the lies enabling had taken place, especially in the beginning. although, i have to admit i confronted him several times and he denied everything, until he could not do it any more. the problem was that we lived in different countries (we are both from Russia), in different time zones, internet was limited, phone expensive and i was busy taking license exams and looking for a residency, working as much as i could and taking care of our child. i could not fathom why he should lie in this circumstances as i would let him go should he express an interest. he wasn’t a good husband, he did not help, he always promised things tomorrow and nothing ever happened. in other words, he always had a carrot a front of me that soon we will all live together and have a total bliss. he probably sensed my major desire – to have a family and he used it a lot.
        when finally i discovered the affair i cut off all communications including credit cards, and applied for divorce. this has its effect – affair had ended and he moved to the US, but we did not live together for 2 years. eventually he started gradually coming back and was so good that i started trust him again. when i lived by myself i managed everything just fine, to the best of my abilities. i bought my house, i hired people to fix it, we worked ourselves their as well. my husband was very helpful. he commute on weekends to help us with the house (it was a fixer-upper), was very good father to his son, their relationships also improved dramatically. it lasted for couple of years. then our son graduated from high school and left for a year on a student exchange program and than to college. i had a surgery that was quite scary, though it turned to be a benign brain tumor, plus an empty nest caused me to chicken up. so i agreed to move with him. as soon as i moved to his place i realized that it was a mistake. yes, intimacy was an issue — he was very territorial and started to treat me as an invader. i felt not very welcomed, started act submissively, lost my confidence very quickly. So our marriage got very sour. that when i noticed that his attitude changed, he started to treat me like and old woman, sort of like his mother, good for an advice and boring functions, not invited to go to the dance club or a rock concert. at the same time very conveniently a young and very insecure young lady became available to go with him, end of the story. they form a perfect union: she is very feminine, in her 30s, does not work, busy with her appearances and taking care of her daughter from previous marriage. he is very masculine, not attractive physically (he got very obese), but very wealthy businessman with the touch of Tony Soprano in his late 50s. and here i am, by myself, lone and disappointed wondering why i allowed it happened to me and what can i do to change myself to move on, and what is it wrong with me.

        • Dear Alla,

          Good to hear from you. You've been through a lot. Let's see.

          Questions: Why did you allow this all to happen to you? Most common answer is that you and he acted the way you were both taught. Generally it is useful to start understanding this by looking at how your parents behaved when you were young (seven and under). You'll probably find you behavior with him is like theirs. With that as a background, probably you just did what came next. Seemed right to you at the time. And here we are.

          Question: What is wrong with you? Given your teaching, nothing is wrong. But then I think you've decided you can and will do better. I congratulate you. I would suggest the Map of Relationships as a starting place. It covers everything that I think people need to learn. I would suggest getting a counselor as being a person to walk with you as you learn new things.

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