Here’s a letter from Jocelyn, who’s suffering through something that sounds extreme at first – but, actually is VERY, VERY common with many of my clients and women I talk to…
“Rori, I feel a little uncomfortable pouring my heart out for the world to see, but getting help is more important. It’s a little long. I apologize for that. I wanted to have seen, a little of the person, I am before stating my problems.
Since I am writing to you, you can tell I’m one of those people who need your help. I know I’m supposed to keep it short, and Ill try; but I am a very wordy person and need lots of help…and I think it would help if you know a little bit about me. Your emails help a lot, by the way. But I’m still having major issues that I have a hard time handling.
Here’s the deal. I am sixty years old. I know that I never have looked my age (or acted it because I keep attracting men who are, at the very least, ten years younger than I am (sometimes more). Its still happening and Im ok with that. Thats not my problem.
Ive always been extremely lonely…even as a child. I used to read every fairytale I could get my hands on until the library didn’t have any more. Then in Jr High I was turned on to romance novels and have been reading them every since. I keep thinking maybe I should throw away the ones I have (I have several sets by certain favorite authors) because they are not reality. A friend once told me that I have abandonment issues…that no one in my life has ever been there for me. I guess that’s true. My father left when I was six.
My mother spent most of her life in the bars. She wasn’t an alcoholic exactly…she was more addicted to being the center of attention. She was pretty so she succeeded. She put me down a lot so I have had that to work on too. Also, every man in my life has eventually left me. I know there as are a lot out there just like me. As I said earlier, youve already helped me a lot with it.
This lonesomeness seems to be my key problem. I want someone in my life to share my daily life with, but when they come into my life, I make them the center of it and drive them away. You talk about that all the time so I get that part. And I get the part that the key is to actually BE busy. I just have a hard time finding men to practice on…(except maybe in the bars… and I just don’t enjoy going to them any more. I never really did but it has been the only social life I could find in this area.) And at times the loneliness is almost more than I can bear.
I am currently working on treating myself better…to love myself as I have the men in my life. I go to the movies, and try to find activities outside the bars, but there isn’t much around here.
I’m working on my interests. I’m going to school. I want to get my associates degree. This is a separate problem. As much as I want that degree, it takes ALL my time. I can’t go to just one class at a time because I have to go to at least two a semester to get financial aid. So I have very little time to pursue an interest in a life partner or have much of a social life. All the males at school are younger than my own children (40,38, and 36), and the ones that aren’t are usually married.
I know I am an attractive person. I also know I am an interesting person. I have driven a race car (once). I have been a volunteer firefighter (for about a year). Ive even had the grand entrance that most girls dream about. And now I am going to school…and when summer gets here, I will again work at the local glider port in lieu of pay in the pursuit of getting my license and learn to fly gliders. I have been working on that for the past three or fours summers.
Unfortunately, all the men there are married, and the two ladies there don’t like me. I imagine its because they are so frumpy and I keep up my appearance because its something I enjoy doing.
And now here it is. Actually I met someone I grew to care for a lot. He and I fit together so well, in so many ways. He’s everything Ive always wanted in a man. He’s highly intelligent. He’s kind to every one, always thinking of ways to help others. He has lots of integrity. He has the same interests, thought patterns, and philosophies about life that I do.
But now I think I’ve pushed him away. We both, however, have issues we need to work on. Mine is learning how to love myself and the biggest one…to not feel so lonely all the time. His is….. he is in a VERY bad, verbally and physically abusive marriage. He wont get out because of that integrity thing. His favorite motto is if it isn’t working, try harder (I think he picked that up in the Army), and he does, to no avail.
When we started out we were just two lonely people looking for a friend. Then we started getting closer…emailed, texted, called each other every day, and surprisingly enough, he made most of the efforts there. He’s backed away from me twice because he couldn’t handle it all…his wife’s constant abuse, finding time for me (he lives about an hour away), and concentrate on his job (hes a high up executive in a large global company).
This try harder thing has me stumped. I know from experience that sooner or later he will reach his limit and probably leave her. I’ve always told my kids of that philosophy…everyone has their line…their limit of what they can take…and they can’t find the strength to leave or change their circumstances until they reach it. Well, things started getting bad at his home again recently like they did about this time last year.
She was mad at him, and I made the mistake of whining when he didn’t call when he knew I was sick, like he usually would, and the stress of it all was affecting his job….so…..again he pulled back, said he needed some space, that he was almost over the edge. So now I rarely see him or hear from him. I miss his friendship so much….yes, the affection and attention too. I won’t lie to myself about that.
BTW, we have never had sex (although we have come close, but know that would ruin everything…especially our friendship…I want that at all costs!) I feel so comfortable with him. I can talk to him about anything. We’ve never even kissed accept on the cheek.
Sometimes I’m fine (50% at least). It’s the in-between the fine times that are so hard. I don’t have any one to do things with. My phone can go literally days without ringing…and I’m not exaggerating there. I have a best friend, girlfriend, but she is about 40 minutes away and has none of the same interests with me.
The things we used to have in common no longer exist in our lives, but she does call occasionally to tell me what is going on in her life. I’m working as a shipping clerk because office work doesn’t pay enough around here to be able to live on your own, so no one at work really fits into my life either…and the one or two who come close are married with children.
This loneliness is eating me up. I work all day then come home to an empty house every night to work on school work. I know I’m alone too much but don’t know what to do about it. I even went to the show by myself. I could go on and on but I think you can now get a picture of my life. Can you help me?
P.S. I dont mind if you use me for an example. If I could help anyone out there whose life is like mine I would be very happy about it. – Jocelyn”
Here’s my answer:
Jocelyn, you sound wonderful – and the only problem is that you’re wasting time being hung up on a man who can’t do the job for you.
No matter how wonderful a man is – the ONLY thing that counts is whether or not he wants to be with YOU – permanently and fully…and this man can’t.
Not yet – and – you’re not going to like this – but a man who stays with a woman who’s abusive (forget the “integrity” thing as a reason – it isn’t that) – actually, on some deep level – WANTS to be abused.
This means that – if he were to leave that relationship – he would NOT feel attracted to YOU – a NICE, GOOD woman.
Can you see this?
It’s similar to the way many women are attracted to “bad boys” and abusive men.
He actually does NOT want to leave this woman.
On an intellectual level, he knows it’s awful and you’re good and kind and sweet – but on a subconscious, visceral level – he wants to be abused.
It turns him on in some way.
It’s not healthy – but then you KNOW that.
And I want you to know this important face – you have plenty of time.
I’ve worked with many women in their sixties who’ve found love – and much more quickly than you’d imagine.
Online dating will help you tremendously – because you don’t have time for getting out there because of school.
Forget the bars and find things men do – golf, sports bars, sporting events, classes, lectures, computer classes…stuff like that that interests you.
And – if you live in a town that makes finding a good pool of men impossible – then you must consider moving.
Online dating will help you see this…and help you experiment.
I’d consider getting good online photos and consulting someone about a great profile (some online services are as low as $39 to tweak your profile and give you feedback.
What you want to do is get your inner “boy” in gear to get you out there, proactively – out of the house, up on dating sites, at singles events and Salsa dancing and speed dating…and THEN – you want to just settle back and breathe once you’re in that situation – and practice being ONLY a girl…