The seemingly insignificant thing which causes the inability or unwillingness to endure any more of the burden.
Q I have been dating my girlfriend for four years. Our desired lifestyles differ. I've always had a strong desire for social relationships outside of our relationship. She, on the other hand, only requires a lifestyle which includes me. Outside of work, she spends all her time with me.
This difference could be overshadowed by our love, but she too often conveys intolerable negativity when my desire for society doesn’t correspond to her desire to be solely with me. Sometimes she is sad. More often she portrays frustration and anger. She says mean things, makes unpleasant facial expressions, or clams-up.
Her negativity leads to my intense stress. It is difficult to judge whether it’s worse being void of social relationships, or if it’s worse dealing with her negativity. We’ve had conversations, arguments, fights, negotiations, and compromises to end this negativity, all to no avail.
Strangely, every time she exudes her negativity, it’s as if we never discussed the matter before. I regret not taking advantage of my social opportunities. When I look into the future, I fear how these regrets might evolve. It is painful to imagine our relationship continuing on the path it’s currently on. The difficulty arises when figuring out a way to change it.
A Andrew, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, made an interesting comment about the Wright brothers. He said, "They knew if they solved the problems of balance and steering, they could fly."
That statement applies as much to life as to flying. We are meant to fly. Not just some of us, but all of us. But first we must solve the problems of balance and steering. We solve the steering problem by moving toward people who support and encourage us, and by moving away from people who are negative.
We solve the problem of balance by filling ourselves with all of what we need, and by not letting one person or one thing overwhelm our lives.
You are having recurring, brand-new conversations with your girlfriend because you are making zero impact on her. You want to fly and she wants to ground you, but trying to ground you won’t keep you. What is the point of flight if you can’t leave the airport?
Wayne & Tamara
Q I've been with my boyfriend for four years, and he is going through the longest divorce known to man. His soon-to-be ex knows of me and told him she is insanely jealous. She makes my life complete hell by e-mailing him sexual innuendoes, asking him for expensive gifts, and calling him an average of 12 times a day.
I told him to cut the cord. If he wants to be with me, he has to protect me, be true to me, and make me feel secure in this relationship. We even tried counseling a few years back, and then he cheated on me with her. Many times I told him to get on with this divorce or I would be gone, but it doesn’t seem to scare him anymore.
How do I get my point across to this man, and do I have any grounds to tell this woman to leave him alone and just tend to her children?
A Paige, the one thing which may set you free is to look on this situation from a different point of view. He didn't cheat on you with her. She's his wife. He's cheating on her with you. You describe her as his soon-to-be ex, but "soon-to-be ex" is a term more likely to describe your future, not hers.
You threaten and threaten to leave, and you never do. Bluffing in poker may be good strategy, but bluffing in life is weak. Once your bluff is called, you’ve lost all power and all credibility. And counseling? Think about how funny that is. You went for relationship counseling with a man in a marriage to another woman.
Why do you keep plodding forward? Because you want to be married. There is nothing wrong with that. But you cannot marry someone who is already married. There is a simple solution. Don’t give up wanting to be married, just give up married men.
Wayne & Tamara
Invade – to enter as if to take possession, to intrude upon.