Monday, December 21, 2009

We can't change the past. But we can change the future.

Somehow your story reminds me of the relationship I had with Josh, which was right before I met you. He made $250,000 a year at a big corporation, used to brag about "getting people fired." Mean alcoholic who skiied and worked out all the time. alternately charming and ingratiating - and very cold. Controlling. Not a team player at all.

He had zero imagination and no sense of humor. My friends and family always hated him. He is the one person I have left who I never, never spoke to again. I ended up being "friends" on Facebook, only to perversely spy on him, but I get satisfaction in knowing he is still exactly the same as he ever was, just older now, and looking rather sad -- and I'd still be trapped there, being an arm decoration.

Your story reminds me so much of the woman my friend Jeffrey married (a younger, blonde, gorgeous, perfect smart achieving fashion designer from a blue blood family who, after the wedding, replaced him with her obsession with thoroughbred horseback riding, criticized and castrated him and moved to a city that was great for her career, but made it very difficult for him to succeed in his own career. Wives are supposed to build a man up. She tore him down. It's a partnership, not a competition. Jeffrey's career finally thrived after the divorce.

I think we both have something in common -- (in the past) that we both
may have a tendency to fall for "narcissists" who demean us and cut us
down--or use us for their own egoic advancement. Dig back into your
childhood for the roots of that (probably a narcissicic parent who
either ignored/neglected you or never was satisfied with your
accomplishments) ... and sever those roots. Cut the chords that are
pulling you and manipulating your life to this day.

Don't let that wounded little boy make the decisions for your adult life

The idea that life is a struggle in the middle may be your own spin on

When you get away from the incessant striving for perfection, it's
not a struggle anymore. You were obviously spending your last 7 years
with a major achiever/striver, and that (or her grand expectations of
YOU) may have colored your perception of what's an acceptable happiness
quotient ... a bit.

Seeing my ex "before" and "after" that relationship, I wonder if that woman hammered your
self esteem and identity. Would anything you did make her
happy? Did she ever love you for your essence -- or for the outward the
image you gave her?

Ask yourself that before you blame the end of your marriage on yourself.
Was this a relationship where you could comfortably be your own
authentic self?

I really do feel that you need to separate yourself from her as much as
possible (hard to do with a kid, I know) and develop your OWN identity
and worth again. Keep distance. Build your own life and friendships.
Don't look back. It's got to be brutal watching her exhausting pursuit
of perfection.

Eventually it might implode -- or it might continue forever. Until she loves herself she--or her partner--will never be "good enough." I don't know her, but I can imagine the kind of ghosts of self loathing and the deep insecurity that haunts her, as I've been
there myself.

It usually takes some kind of major life trauma to compel women to rise
to the top of the corporate ladder. I used to always feel like nobody
would take care of me.

By the way, if we get back into the MOMENT of now, and are present, I
realize that you/I have a good 20 years ahead of us... which either of us could write a best seller, have a fantastic
relationship, have a great family, start a thriving business, join a hot
startup or flip another fixer upper.

I'm trying to focus on that possibility, and avoid looking back, because
the past is so painful sometimes, so filled with regrets....and because
we can't change the past, but we can change the future.

So focus there. Present. Forward. Don't look back.

What do you want those next 20 years to be? (And don't blame the
potential on the government or whatever--times are always in flux and
often challenging. It's what we make of them that matters.

I appreciate the busting -- I'm not here to hang out with a yes man. And
I'm not a yes girl. I enjoy the stimulation and the challenge of hanging
out with you on many levels...

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