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I don't think you're actually a failure at all. I think you're just depressed because the things you believe you'd need to do to be "successful" and which you think you are obligated to do are not the same things that would actually make you happy. You are depressed because you never do what you enjoy, and because you are depressed, you naturally have miserably low self-esteem. Well, lots of people are depressed...it's pretty normal. Question is, are you willing to do anything about it?

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Originally Posted By: Helianthus
I don't think you're actually a failure at all. I think you're just depressed because the things you believe you'd need to do to be "successful" and which you think you are obligated to do are not the same things that would actually make you happy. You are depressed because you never do what you enjoy, and because you are depressed, you naturally have miserably low self-esteem. Well, lots of people are depressed...it's pretty normal. Question is, are you willing to do anything about it?


No. He isn't.

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Quote:
It is like being a #1 draft choice in the NFL, and then not being able to make the starting team.


Wow, Hold, I could really relate to this. I've had some shake-ups lately at work, was expected to raise my work to a way different level, and have done a few years' growth in a few months. I didn't realize how tied up my self-worth was with how I was perceived at work. Thought I was immune to it. Anyhow, it led me to some introspection. You and I have talked about our superstar kids. I was like that, too, smartest in my class, and was in for a big shock when I got into the work world. Instead of being able to excel with just a reasonable amount of work on my part, like at school, I joined a world where I was *not* the best and brightest. I wasn't the #1 draft pick anymore. There were many others with more smarts and drive and time than I had. I wound up resigning my first job after graduation within a year, and taking jobs that paid less, so I could be the best and brightest again, compared to my peers. I've gone through that cycle a few more years, retraining, going to work somewhere challenging, and then feeling awful about falling short of my peers, so I went to something easier. But this job I'm at now, I was given 3 months to work at a way more challenging level than I signed on for, or I was going to be let go. I met the challenge, Hold, but I was also willing to accept and forgive myself if I fell short and was let go.

I also fell short in my marriage. I married a guy that I thought would be easy to please, but the bar was raised, and I beat myself up for falling so short in meeting these new expectations. I wasn't cut out for the IB in my marriage. But I found a place where I found that this is normal, that lots of folks don't thrive with too-high expectations. That there are solutions that have worked for others, so I could give them a shot, too. I learned about POJA, setting myself up for success instead of failure, by only agreeing to things that I was enthusastic about. And it was okay to ask myself if something was realistic for me before I agreed to it. I can forgive myself, Hold, and stop trying to hold myself to those expectations that were too much for me. I am at peace with accepting defeat. I'm not going to win them all.

What do you feel about self-forgiveness, Hold? I was at a step meeting about Step 8 last night, Made a list of people we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Some of us shared about making amends to ourselves, that our expectations of ourselves were unrealistic, and we were too hard on ourselves. If you think about your son, yes, the boy is brilliant, but if he's not the hard-charger at work, do you want him to beat himself up about that? Or be easy on himself, acknowledge that even the best and brightest may not be enthusiastic about being hard-charging all the time.

I'm not asking you to forgive yourself today, Hold. You mentioned a few times about how no one can convince you that you're not a failure. And I think you may be right, that no one can convince you in one day that you're not a failure. But along with our friends here, I'll keep throwing those rocks, because who knows when that day will come again when you will find the "willingness to be willing" to find and act on self-forgiveness.

And I don't believe it's all-or-nothing. I think there are ways today that you are kind to yourself, finding things that you are enthusiastic about doing.


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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
If you think about your son, yes, the boy is brilliant, but if he's not the hard-charger at work, do you want him to beat himself up about that? Or be easy on himself, acknowledge that even the best and brightest may not be enthusiastic about being hard-charging all the time.


Wow. Great question. I am honestly not sure. I know I will feel like a failure if he is not a hard charger (which he shows ever sign of NOT being). Do I hope he will find peace within himself? Yikes. I can't honestly say yes. I am sure I will send signals that I feel he is a failure if he isn't motivated to be hard charging. Wow. I would do to him exactly what my parents did to me. Yowzers, that is a scary thought. Scary enough to get me to change? I am not sure. Wooooowwwwww. Much to ponder.

Oh, and for those who keep insisting I am a success at work, sorry, but you are simply wrong. Yesterday I got the reminder card that they are printing the law school alumni directory. They publish every 5 years. I called the 800 number to confirm that they had accurate information. At the end of the call, they asked how much we earn. Not to put it in the directory. For the alumni association confidential use (presumably so they know who to hit up for big donations). The call center lady read off a list of income categories. I refused to answer. But just for reference, there were several categories, and I fall into the next to the bottom. 0 - 100. 100 - 300. And up from there for many more categories. So I can assure you that among my fellow alumni, I am considered a financial failure who is not even worth calling to ask for donations, because I clearly can't afford to give anything that the school would consider meaningful.

Right now I need to get my life insurance switched from annual renewable to 20 year level term. Then maybe we can address some of the other issues.


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Wow, judging the success or failure of your entire life based on how much money you earn compared to your law school classmates. That's so...arbitrary. Do you know that if I judged my life based on how many rollercoasters I've been on compared to my friends, I'd be an utter failure. I HATE rollercoasters, while most of my friends love them. But if I judged myself based on how many miles I've commuted on a bicycle, I would probably win, because I love riding my bike! Maybe your law school classmates LOVE always competing and pushing to get more money. Does that make them better than you, or does that just mean they are very competitive people, maybe overly so? Maybe it's time to start judging yourself based on something else, something you would ENJOY being the best at.

Also, you're just assuming how much money other people make, just because of what survey categories they happen too give?!? I worked for a lawyer last year. He was very "successful" for a while, then he nearly bankrupted himself with two different divorces and practically ran his firm into the ground due to poor management. Now he has to put his own savings into the firm to keep it afloat and hasn't broken even. Not all lawyers are doing well in this economy. A lot are struggling. Just so you know...

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You can always find people who make more or less than you. You can always find people who seem to be happier than you. You can always find people who have a better or worse house or car than you.

So why be foolish enough to judge yourself by other people???

Bubbles4U #2413979 08/05/10 02:02 PM
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One more time.

Everyone in the USA has to look at concepts of success and failure differently now. I live in Detroit. Yup.
Highest job loss per capital in the NATION.

I personally know dozens of people who are in forclosure, lost jobs, hell, lost industry. Everyone's house is worth about 1/2 of what it was 5 years ago. (If you are lucky)

And no, HOTI, I will not ask you to be thankful that you have a job..
or go to Mott's Children's Hospital and see the cancer riddled children who's parents have recently lost health insurance....

Think about your own situation. And what you define as a "successful life".

Everyone is thinking about retirement options in a different lite, now. Everyone I know. Guess what? they are not jumping off bridges here.

You have to redefine your #1. Old expectations with #2. New reality. Here (in Det.) it is NOT their fault. Maybe yours is your own fault. Who knows? Who cares? The path forward does not care about past blame, it is just a path to travel.

That does not change the fact that the change has to occur within your thinking. Yes, see the psychiatrist. This issue runs deep and dark through your mind.

Last edited by barbiecat; 08/05/10 02:04 PM.

Me; W 46
Him; H 46

2 girls
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DD16
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..I am learning and working on myself.
barbiecat #2414456 08/07/10 03:21 AM
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Hold, after reading you have been talking to Stockbrokers I

fully understand why you have financial problems. I was

reading recently that 70% of "fund managers" do not met or do

better than the market, in any given year. That really is a

shockingly poor result.

Stockbrokers must be the most overpaid and under performing

people that exist.

Jackblack #2414795 08/08/10 09:38 PM
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Hold, that's interesting what you said about your son, that you would be willing to make him feel worse. What would be your payoff in that? Is the punishment the end result? Or is it that you think withholding your acceptance would motivate him?

LA has told me before, what we crave the most, is what we give the least of. You said Mrs. H says what she is missing most is Words of Affirmation. Does that mean that you are craving Words of Affirmation the most? But you say you don't want to hear that you are doing well, that this feels bad for you. So what is it that you do want? I guess I have lot more questions than answers today.

Have you spoken with the Harleys? When I called Steve, he had amazing insight. I told him my struggles, and he explained to me how it made sense that I was having those struggles, and simple steps to try to get out of the ruts I was in. "No man is an island," we're part of a people, Hold. You're not fighting some unique situation that no one else has ever experienced or come through successful from. How would you feel about calling Steve, and letting him give you a plan of action that you are enthusiastic about? And developing an accountability plan that you're enthusiastic about? Over your time here, I think you've seen other folks in ruts that Steve helped them ease out of.

You have some great momentum going already, it's not an all-or-nothing. You have done a great job of getting out of ruts before, like when you took charge of your health, and aided your wife in taking charge of her health. Many folks would tell you that their health is the most precious asset they have. What do you think?


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Things with Mrs. Hold are going well. Now that I have stopped pestering her for sex we get along well. I pestered her for sex mostly for the ego stroke - not the sex itself. Now sex is not an ego stroke for me. I know it does nothing for her. And in my present physical condition it doesn't do much for me, either. Much easier to take care of things myself and not bother her. This morning she gave signals she was available, but I decided to go into another room and handle things myself. Much less stress and tension.

Now my job is to do better at my job. Forget about my marriage and focus on work. I need to get my head out of my butt and really try to succeed instead of assuming failure and not making a true effort. I know many of you think that I should change careers and do something I enjoy more but I am never going to make that choice voluntarily.

Oh, and bubbles, you'll never believe what Mrs. Hold and I did on Saturday. We went to an open house at a college about an hour away and looked into Mrs. Hold going back to school to get a certificate so she can qualify to get a JOB! She figures she will be bored in 3 years when S15 is out of the house and D13 can drive, and we could use the money, so she wants to prepare herself for something. Hopefully by then the recession will be ending and she can actually get a job.


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Hold...could you share with us how MB has helped your marriage over the years? Could you share with us how the forum has helped your marriage?


Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Me 47
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Married 21 years.
Soolee #2414878 08/09/10 11:05 AM
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I am not sure it has. I did a fairly good job for a long time on avoiding LBs. I learned to listen to my wife without DJs. I say "thank you for sharing" when she tells me unpleasant truths, and really mean it. I tried to meet her ENs, but of course I failed miserably at her #1 need so my efforts along those lines were mostly wasted.

I learned to express my needs and ask for them to be met. I stopped being only a Giver and allowed my Taker to step up to the table. I doubt I would have separated our bank accounts or asked Mrs. Hold to give up her credit cards without MB.

This forum has helped me get through some difficult times. Whether it has become more of a help or a crutch over time is an open question.

No system, MB or anything else, can get me the results I want if I am not willing to make the required changes in my behavior. There was an interesting article in the NY times magazine this week about a life spent in psychotherapy, and whether it made any difference for the author. She could have been describing my life. decades spent waiting for the magic wand or some amazing doctor to "flip a switch" and change my feelings. Doesn't work. Changing one's behavior eventually changes one's feelings. I am not there yet.


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Thanks Hold. I can see that MB and the forum have helped you with some significant things.

I had another question...you stated, "I tried to meet her ENs, but of course I failed miserably at her #1 need so my efforts along those lines were mostly wasted."

Why do you say that your efforts along those lines were mostly wasted because you didn't fulfill her #1? What of the others?

I think my understanding is that there is no shame in trying and failing, but in not trying at all. We forfeit hope when we give up, agreed? Isn't the feeling of hope better than the feeling of failure?


Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Me 47
DH 46
Together for 28 years.
Married 21 years.
Soolee #2414941 08/09/10 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: Soolee
Why do you say that your efforts along those lines were mostly wasted because you didn't fulfill her #1? What of the others?


My wife and I are similar in many ways. One way we are similar is that our #1 needs have historically been far and away more important than our #2 - #10 needs. So when need #1 is not being met (as it has not been met for either of us pretty much for the entire marriage), it is not like we are missing on 1/10 or 1/5 of the possible deposits. We are missing out on 90%+ of the potential deposits. So moving from a 2 to a 9 on the love bank scale is still so far from 100 that it hardly registers.

Remember, sex and money are like air. Not such a big deal until you don't get enough of them. Mrs. Hold and I have both felt choked by our marriage. When you are being strangled, you don't notice or give much credit if the person strangling you is telling you how lovely your hair looks today.

Originally Posted By: Soolee
I think my understanding is that there is no shame in trying and failing, but in not trying at all. We forfeit hope when we give up, agreed? Isn't the feeling of hope better than the feeling of failure?


Not for me. I hate hope. Hope leads to pain. If I fail, I feel ashamed. More or less than when I simply don't try? Hard to say. Both shames are enormous. Sometimes I feel ashamed when I fail at something when I expect to succeed. Sometimes I feel ashamed when I decide that I can't reasonably expect to succeed. Basically, I feel ashamed all the time. Bet you could not have guessed that from my posts here!


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"Changing one's behavior eventually changes one's feelings."

This statement is wrong and most definitely wrong for you.

From reading some of your posts it seems that you think, If I can make a million dollars, everything will be ok and my wife will have sex with me.

This is not how it happens. If you do happen to make a million dollars your wife will probably take her cut and shack up with the gym instructor.

Your real problem Hold, is that you are a glass half empty sort of guy. I understand that you like being this way but unfortunately it is death to all women. They absolutely do not want to hear it. It makes them uncomfortable and insecure. They do not want to be attached to failure.

Your failure is the perception that you portray. You tell your wife that you are a failure and she believes you. Why do you find fault when she believes you? When she believes you she acts accordingly.

The funny thing with women is that so often it takes so little to impress. I know a guy that took a woman to the casino twice. He won $20 and $4 dollars and told her he was always lucky. She believed it totally. Built a life around it. She believed that life together with him, would always be lucky. It wasnt but thats another story.
I guess nature has made women this way because where else are they going to go?

On the other hand they can always spend twice as much as you could ever earn. Look at Fergy, $10,000,000.00 in debt. That would take you a hundred years to pay off. See how lucky you are you didnt marry her.

The point is until you begin to see the glass half full, no mater what you do, things will remain the same.

Jackblack #2415157 08/10/10 09:16 AM
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Good point. I will never be a glass half full guy. If that means continued failure, I guess there will be continued failure. I agree it turns women off. I guess I'll just have to do without.


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HOLD, even if you percieve yourself (wrongly) as being a failure, ACT as if you are successful.

Even if you FEEL you are a failure, REALIZE and ACT like you are a success.

ACT successful and as if you feel you have success in front of other people and your wife.

Perhaps you MUST feel that you are a failure since SUCCESS is a fearful thing for you.

There is a book, "The Fear of Success".

If you were successful, you would have to do__________. You would have to be _____________. You would have to have this kind of wife_______________. You would have to live__________.

There could be fearful things attached to SUCCESS in your mind so instead, you not only REFUSE to feel any measure of the dreaded, SUCCESS....but you even go so far as to Try and CAUSE yourself to act like a failure and gently sabatage yourself (not enough to lose your job however) at work so you dont make too much money.

You must have a true, deep, and strong fear of SUCCESS!!!


Last edited by Bubbles4U; 08/10/10 11:23 AM.
Bubbles4U #2415184 08/10/10 10:54 AM
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Yes, I fear success. If I were a success I would have to divorce Mrs. Hold. I don't want to do that. So I won't allow myself to be a success. Surely you guys have figured that out after all this time.

The good news is that I am changing. Getting older. At this point I could be more successful and not feel obliged to leave Mrs. Hold. So maybe there is hope for me to stop sabotaging myself.

Bubbles, I can't believe you have no comment on Mrs. Hold wanting to go back to school to get a certificate so she can get a job.


When you can see it coming, duck!
Jackblack #2415187 08/10/10 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: Jackblack
"Changing one's behavior eventually changes one's feelings."

This statement is wrong and most definitely wrong for you.


Pray tell, what is wrong with this statement? I disagree with your generalization. Feelings oftentimes follow intentional actions, I think that is what HOLD was referring to. When people are depressed, they don't wait for the negative feelings associated with depression to subside, they have to take deliberative actions despite their current feelings in order to eliminate the depression (exercise, eating right, medications, counseling, etc.), as one example.

Quote:
From reading some of your posts it seems that you think, If I can make a million dollars, everything will be ok and my wife will have sex with me.

This is not how it happens. If you do happen to make a million dollars your wife will probably take her cut and shack up with the gym instructor.


Yes and no. It is difficult to say whether Mrs HOLD would in fact be more attracted and more open to sex with Mr HOLD were he to be a partner pulling down a seven figure salary at his firm. I'd guess that at least part of the reason that Mrs HOLD is not attracted to Mr HOLD is because of the reasons that HOLD has already said, because he isn't leading the successful life that Mrs HOLD anticipated when she married him.

HOLD's situation is akin to, IMHO, one of the first examples that Harley outlined in the HN/HN book. He wrote of a husband/wife couple who met at the gym after the wife had lost a bunch of weight, after having been overweight most of her life. Physical attraction was a primary EN for the husband. After marrying, the wife gradually went back to her old habits and gained quite a bit of weight, and the husband had major issues with her weight gain. She had never communicated to him her struggles with her weight prior to meeting him. In other words, she was not open and honest, didn't practice the PORH.

I see Mr/Mrs HOLD's situation as similar in many respects. HOLD married thinking that all of the sex he received prior to the marriage would continue into the marriage, and Mrs HOLD married with intentions of living the high life married to a successful attorney who would go on to make partner in a prestigious law firm. Mrs HOLD did not practice the PORH with respect to her true intentions with regard to sex, and HOLD probably wasn't entirely open and honest about his glass half empty approach to life and his struggles with his self worth and so forth and so on that have probably contributed to his struggles with job performance. Both were putting on facades in order to get what they wanted.

Quote:
Your real problem Hold, is that you are a glass half empty sort of guy. I understand that you like being this way but unfortunately it is death to all women. They absolutely do not want to hear it. It makes them uncomfortable and insecure. They do not want to be attached to failure.


This is a generalization that I disagree with. I know plenty of glass half empty women. Attorneys are born skeptics. They are highly paid to be glass half empty skeptics. Industry analysis of the legal profession has consistently shown this to be the case (just ask HOLD - he'll tell you the same thing I bet). There are plenty of women married to attorneys that are plenty happy despite the glass half empty skeptical personality.

Don't get me wrong, I hear what you are saying, that some women want their knight in shining armor, to be swept off their feet, but not all women want this.

Quote:
Your failure is the perception that you portray. You tell your wife that you are a failure and she believes you. Why do you find fault when she believes you? When she believes you she acts accordingly.

The funny thing with women is that so often it takes so little to impress. I know a guy that took a woman to the casino twice. He won $20 and $4 dollars and told her he was always lucky. She believed it totally. Built a life around it. She believed that life together with him, would always be lucky. It wasnt but thats another story.
I guess nature has made women this way because where else are they going to go?

On the other hand they can always spend twice as much as you could ever earn. Look at Fergy, $10,000,000.00 in debt. That would take you a hundred years to pay off. See how lucky you are you didnt marry her.

The point is until you begin to see the glass half full, no mater what you do, things will remain the same.



LOL, IME I have to agree with you on the spending twice as much as you could ever earn. smile But then again, HOLD and I share a mutual struggle of financial well being due to our wives overspending. Sometimes it's truly never enough.


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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These wives who overspend are nothing but criminals hurting themselves, thier husband, thier marriage..... and the family.

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