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Developmental tasks...

  • samchik1
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09 May 12 #329478 by samchik1
Topic started by samchik1
My first day of utter solitude today. Not able to focus on work at all. Not going to. The day was odd to say the least:

Woke up 10.45
Read a book in bed (well, she took the bed...on the sofa) til 12.00
Had a bath til 2.00
Cried at some triggers
Nipped into the garden and locked myself out
Broke into my son''s room to get back in
Went to shop
Ate breakfast at 15.00
Now I''m gonna sleep on the couch again

Weird day...but not as hellish as I had thought

Anyway, the book I was reading was "Coming Apart" - anyone read it? I found it by chance last night when I looked on a box my wife had filled with old books. I had bought it nine years ago when my first ever long term relationship ended. I read it again.

It speaks of developmental tasks in relationships. The idea that we all ultimately get into relationships because at the time the people we get into them with appear to satisfy (or have the potential to help us satisfy) important developmental tasks for our lives.

In my case, it is clear that my wife needed a source of comfort and stability that could guide her as she built up her self-esteem and competence - in order to better herself as a person. She found that in me. Me? I needed to do that. I needed to be needed and to help nurture her towards that goal. I also needed and wanted to build a traditional family while this other stuff was going on.

Problem for us was that when my wife had become almost self-sufficient and was beginning to make her way in the world the purpose of our relationship for her was lost. At this point our relationship also changed. I began to need HER more. I wanted to see her as more of a family centered person. The initial developmental task she had signed up for was complete...the relationship had served it''s purpose. FOR HER. I had wanted to build a traditional and happy family too - in addition to nurturing her independence. But I''m not sure that was ever on her agenda.

It may sound unpalatable, but I think it may be right that we create relationships to meet our needs. To allow us to rescue someone. To be rescued ourselves. To raise our children. To feel like we are beautiful. And so on. Maybe relationships are simply constructed to serve a purpose...which once accomplished will trigger the ultimate death of it. Maybe they all have a shelf life...but we don''t want to admit it?

  • Marshy_
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09 May 12 #329527 by Marshy_
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Hi Sam. I knew you would start analysing. And I wasnt wrong. But its OK. Its a phase we all go thru. Why was she with me? Am or was I a stepping stone?

On the whole people dont start relationships to further themselves. Ok perhaps in royalty or business perhaps they do. But regular relationships, nah na. They do it for the usual reasons. They like the person and they go from there. Forgive me if I am wrong. But yr not chairman of ICI or Alan Sugar or the prince of some minor country? Yr a regular guy like the rest of us right? So royal greasy pole clmbing is not for you. Or yr ex.

Yr ex more than likely is one of these people that search for something that they never find. There are lots like that. You are a solid guy type of guy. And she is not a solid gal kinda gal. You meet them everywhere. Clubs, bars, gyms, dating sites. And they usualy leave a trail of devestation behind them. I meet a lady, I ask her, So what happened to your ex then? I left him. And the one before? I left him... I think you get the idea. Time to get yr coat. Stay away from these people. They are bad news.

This was nothing todo with you. U didnt do anything wrong (apart from meet her) and it just ended. For reasons I suspect she doesnt understand either. And you will never fully understand it. Like she wont. In all likelyhood the new guy will only last a few years and he will be gone also and she will move onto the next one. And he will be here and you will be telling him the same things I am telling you. Wouldnt that be funny? Ok soz. Perhaps not.

In life, you will bump into all sorts of people. Some of them you will form relationships with and some you wont. Thats just the random nature of things relationship stylee.

But its really easy to get bogged down in relationship books and cherry pick out the bits that apply to you and go... Oh yea thats me? I know I have done it. People are not systems and they dont behave like machines with brains like spreadsheets and lines and lines of junk code. People are emotionaly interconnected random beings that behave in a random impossible to fathom way. And you cant and never will fathom her as she cant fathom herself I suspect.

But the bottom line is... This is a blip in your life. The grief you feel will be short lived and I hope against hope that you learn from this. And not a book.

My Marshy advice to you is try and get your life clock back to where it should be. Eat and sleep at the right time and try and work. Its you and yr son now. He will be the driver for your life. She is history. You will get past this and in a year or two it will be wickivorce who? Trust me.

I am sorry that I am so hard on you. But I dont want you to sink lower and lower aided and abeted by books on relationship failures that only a few lines apply to you. And your life is all in front of you. So make it count. You have but one life and you dont want to waste anymore of it on something that is not worth it. And she aint worth it mate. C.

  • hawaythelads
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09 May 12 #329540 by hawaythelads
Reply from hawaythelads
There you go Sam.
I''m glad that book and yourself as a trained psychologist confirmed exactly what I told you the mechanics of your relationships was a month ago.
For a boy from Souf London you have to admit I am fecking brilliant, you can''t argue against that fact.
It''s a bxstard innit when you lock yourself out.
I''m sure we subconsciously do numpty stuff just to make ourselves feel really bad when we''re upset.
You just have to remember any relationship advice divorce settlements at Final hearings just ask His Royal Hawayness.I am always right.:blink:
All the best
Pete xx

  • sun flower
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10 May 12 #329586 by sun flower
Reply from sun flower
Hi Samchick

I found this very interesting. It makes sense to me. I can see the parallels in my relationship with stbx - and yes I am still looking for answers to help me cope (and most importantly not feel so bad about myself.)

Althought Marshy says we act randomly (and Marshy is such a wise guy I hate to contradict him) I think one thing we learn from wiki is how people (especially leavers but maybe those of us left too) act to a pattern. I have been amazed by it.

This has helped me so thank you.


  • sun flower
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10 May 12 #329588 by sun flower
Reply from sun flower
I''ve thought about this further.

My ex went for counselling the first time he started to leave....but would not go to marriage guidance together as he decided he didn''t want to save the marriage.

He blamed everything, his upbringing, his relationship with me etc for his unhappiness....and then stopped going because it was too painful. (The ow was already on the scene causing trouble as a so called ''friend''.

Maybe we grow up when we realise our development is dependent on the ''person within us'' and we stop relying on the person we are with to fulfill our development needs.
Any maybe when we (or more to the point they )realise this they will stop being a part of this new ''disposable society'' that is so harmful to us all.

Hey ho

  • Wiser
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10 May 12 #329589 by Wiser
Reply from Wiser
Interesting line of thinking and you WILL get through this and get out the other side and have a huge sigh of relief.

But analysing is good, greiving the death of the marriage is part of the divorce recovery process.

My ex needed a mother, needed mothering, but then on my part I needed a strong father figure. He did that alright and controlled everything in my life. I grew up and now ex has found his mother figure in someone else. We both had our parts to play.

Research shows that men find it difficult to show emotions especially when they talk about their own relationship with their father. If you want to find out more, read the book;

Rebuilding, When your relationship Ends by
Dr Bruce Fisher and Dr Robert Alberti.

written for both sexes, without legal divorce jargon, deals with the emotional recovery from a relationship or loss.

  • Marshy_
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10 May 12 #329617 by Marshy_
Reply from Marshy_
Hi Wiser.

Wiser wrote:

Research shows that men find it difficult to show emotions especially when they talk about their own relationship with their father. If you want to find out more, read the book;

Its a popular view that men are like this and I hear this a lot. But I think its a sweeping generalisation. And not all men are the same like not all women are the same. I could say that all women like high heals, where makeup and cry all the time. But I know thats not true.

I have no problem talking about my relationship with my father. I have no problem talking about any relationship at all.

My belief FWIW is that we are all basicly the same. Men and women. We all have the same needs and wants. We all have the same issues. And we all behave mostly the same. Men get slated as ones that dont want to talk or cant talk. But I know lots of women that cant talk and can only talk when they have had a drink.

A case in point is a friend I have called Cheryl. I used to think she was a great talker. Ok fair enough, I only see her when I am out. But I met her in town and she was umm sober. And we went for a coffee. She was a totally different person. I tried talking to her as I usually do and I got nowhere. She just clammed up. And it was really embarising. Where as I am the same sober or otherwise and it was like talking to a stranger. I am a man. And I love to talk. Does that not make me a man then? I rest my case. C.

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