Saturday, July 16, 2011

"I'm Problematic, You're Problematic"

The other day one of my best friends (who doesn't read this blog) emailed me and asked if I was back with Mike yet.  "You don't have a good history of ridding yourself of problematic men," she wrote.  "As a matter of observation, I would say you are magnetized to them."

Um, just how am I supposed to react to that? 

I suppose I could start by asking, who the fuck isn't problematic?  By the time we're 50, most of us have a shitload of baggage and personal idiosyncrasies that would drive anyone up the wall.  It's not like when we were in college and were pretty much a lump of clay yet to be molded. 

We all sit somewhere on the "problematic" scale and granted, some of us weigh in a lot more heavily than others.  Bastard Husband was/still is a drinker and that was definitely a problem in our marriage.  In comparison, Mike's a lightweight.  He's a certifiable genius, but that brilliance can be a freakin' curse when it comes to day-to-day life skills.  Add young children into the mix, plus the fact that I'm a self-diagnosed "Highly Sensitive Person" (a.k.a. "Pain in the Fucking Ass") and we have a perfect storm.

Those of us in our 40s, 50s, and beyond have decades of experiences under our belts that form the basis of who we are and how we look at life. As a result, the older we get, the more we're set in our ways. We know what works for us and what doesn't.  In effect, and especially for a picky-ass person like me, the window of relationship opportunity is open just a crack.  It gets harder to find someone who has the winning combination of personal characteristics, professional accomplishments, logistics (such as availability and geographic location), and chemistry that we look for in a partner. 

So when I find someone I really dig and fall in love with, yes, I will leave no stone unturned to see if somehow we can make this work.  If you read my book you know I would have done anything to save my marriage to B.H.; I call it a love story for a reason.  And I can't tell you how many times I've hit the wall of frustration with Mike only to go back with him, believing there has to be some way to keep this together. 

I don't often get defensive, mostly because I don't give a crap what people think, but I find my friend's remarks insulting.  I continue to be amazed at what people, I'm gonna say married people, will say to us single folks.  I swear, someday my eyeballs will need to be surgically removed from my cerebellum. 

So single folks, tell me about the crazy shit you hear. And for those of you living in wedded bliss, here's the link to a post I wrote a while back on what you should never say to single people.  Please, I beg of you, read this! 

And for the record, Bastard Husband is a professor with a Ph.D. and Mike's a computer wiz and successful businessman who was able to retire at 38. That's the caliber of men I'm magnetized to.


Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

I hope I am not one of those annoying married people whose advice I offer that you take insult with - because, my dear friend, I'm here for you no matter what choices you make! I love your loyalty to those you love, that's what makes you such a precious friend. Now, I'm off to read your post on what not to say to single people and heaven help me, I hope I don't find one of my quotes in there! :-)

Jamie said...

AWESOME post. Seriously. You are not some dim-witted woman that will go to any length to find/hold on to a man. I too, would have been insulted.

I have been in marriage and relationship limbo for the past two years...separated. Now I am reconciling with the H, mostly because I find no reason not to. How is that for LOVE...LOL. But in two years...TWO years, I found no one that even remotely kept my interest for longer than an evening. A BORING evening. So...I say, whatever gets you through the night. Seriously. We all do the best we can for ourselves and those we love each and every day. You have to follow your heart and mind...and make decisions based on that, as well as decades of living. As a new friend, I support you in everything or anything that makes you happy.

Have a great Sunday. :)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Lisa, you are always supportive and in exactly the right way.

Jamie, I can't tell you how many dates I've had over the years where I sat there fantasizing over all the crap I could be watching on my DVR. I agree, it's rare to find someone who holds your interest, and add physical attraction on top of that and the odds diminish astronomically.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Ooh. Weddings with nosy aunts who watch yet another younger cousin (and they're all younger) get hitched and ask "so, when are you gonna tie the knot? You next? Having the kid six years ago didn't stop the comments. Now that a lot of the cousins are onto their second marriages, the commends should abate, but no.

Debbie said...

Linda, I do not for one minute believe you are a pain in the ass persnickity difficult person ... mostly because I identify with every thing you say and I am just like you. HONEY, you're NORMAL. And you're absolutely right. Every paragraph, every sentence. I was there too ... I was single til I was nearly 40 and I don't think your "friend" sounds very friendly. There was a dig in her statement and that's NOT NICE. She doesn't sound supportive or caring or on your side and that's what a friend should always, always be. ON YOUR SIDE (unless you're a serial killer). So here are my words of wisdom, you keep doing what you're doing, looking for what turns you on physically/mentally, etc., and hanging in there, or checking out for a while and not looking. YOU'VE EARNED THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT WITH WHOEVER YOU WANT TO DO IT WITH AN I SAY EFF YOUR FRIEND.

This is why I love you so much cause you crack me up and make me feel WAY OKAY CAUSE WE'RE THE SAME. I get annoyed when someone breathes too loud LOL! FOR REALS.

you ROCK girl!


Debbie said...

... and i just read your 7 stupid things you should never say to a single person and I AGREE WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE. SEE! YOU'RE MY SISTER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER. I cannot tell you I hated hearing that shit. Especially "you're too picky". WTF is that supposed to mean? Cause you won't give anyone who repulses you half a chance that means you're too picky???? I never got that one. Either someones does it for you or they don't. PERIOD. Never waste time one someone that you know you aren't attracted to. What's the point?! Life is too short to dance with ugly men.


Vegas Linda Lou said...

Really, Kablooey, when are you going to make an honest woman of yourself?

Debbie, you're a freakin' KOOK! We must be related. I was born in El Paso, so maybe...

Liz said...

I agree with Debbie . . .this friend doesn't sound like a true friend. That was a hurtful statment to make.

I'm a long married person and would NEVER say any of the 7 stupid things to a single person. EVER.

You have earned the right to do whatever the hell you want to do. Why should anyone judge?

AgSweep said...

Loving someone can never be wrong. Some of my most rewarding relationships have been with 'problematic' people. Frankly, non-problematic people are boring. The trick is finding the right distance. God knows there are some folks I love to death but I couldn't live with em.

Anonymous said...

Oh my dearest Linda, I am so sorry that not only do you have to deal with typical stressors in normal life but, to find out a good friend compares their relationship to yours and most likely the rest of the world's as well.
After 17years with my husband I have learned absolutely NO two relationships are created the same. We all have to choose what we are willing to give up and what we are willing to give to be in a relationship; that goes for friendships and family as much as it does for marriages, and boyfriend/girlfriend.
I think it boils down to know-it-all syndrome. What works for one couple does not work for another and all relationships should be between the two people involved only.
I have heard some stupid shit while being married from single people and I laugh it off because when it comes down to it which one of us is practicing what we preach...
It's ok, you do what works for you and if your friends can't support you through your ups, downs and relationship faux- pa's than they aren't your friends and who needs that burden. xoxo