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How would you feel if a friend told you that they thought you needed therapy?!

(97 Posts)
grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 10:52:01

Hi

Firstly, I have name changed, although I am not the most regular poster in the world - I have forgotten my old password and my laptop reset itself so I have had to sign up again!

I'm a little unsure what to think about this and it has been playing on my mind quite a lot. I am in my mid thirties, single, and have always been single. I don't think that this is because there is anything horrible about me, it's just been a series of unfortunate events in particular in my late teens which lasted into my mid twenties. By the time I was in a position to start meeting men, the good ones had been taken. I did try, tried Internet dating but I just had no interest at all which was a shame. I concentrated on my career instead and have done pretty well, I'm hardly earning three figures but I do have a comfortable salary and lovely home.

A couple of years ago I started thinking in terms of being single as something that might not change - before that, I mean, I had always thought that I'd meet someone "in the future" and I started to think I might not. confused When I really thought about it, I wasn't all that bothered. I'd seen too many friends have their hearts broken and marriages fall apart and I've never been bothered by being on my own. But I was very upset at the thought of never having children of my own, so I started to look into alternatives (hence why I originally signed up to Mumsnet.) After months of planning I'm now in a position to start trying later ths year and I'm so happy and excited about this.

Most close friends know and have been extremely supportive and excited for me, but there are just a couple who have been quite pleased to my face and yet have let slip that in fact they think I am "damaged" in some way which is why I haven't ever had a partner. One is convinced I am a closet lesbian and the other made the comment I alluded to in my thread title - she is having therapy and told me I should try it - "It would be cheaper than fertility treatment and I bet by the end you wouldn't NEED fertilty treatment."

AIBU to be a little bit hurt by that? (I am a LITTLE hurt by the way, I am not going to never-speak-to-her-again!) I just feel that after months of being supportive, she's now behaving as if I'm wrong, damaged or unhappy in some way. And, if I was going to have therapy, it wouldn't be "to get a boyfriend!"

Thanks for reading smile

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:24:20

From what you say you seem to feel a good relationship can't possibly happen for you, as if you're different to everyone else somehow. Why is that?

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:25:50

X-posted. You say "no-one's been interested in me," but what about you being interested in them?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:29:27

Thanks Minnie, that sums up how I feel about it quite nicely smile I'm sure you're a great counsellor - you have verbalised my feelings nicely there grin

Cailin, I don't think it's that exactly. It's just that I lost a parent young, the other parent left and the care of a troubled sibling fell on my shoulders. My university years were spent doing strings of horrible jobs and I was homeless at one period which was awful. My mid twenties were difficult as I bought a house young but struggled financially a bit - I was ok, but no spare money for socialising or hobbies. I was promoted at twenty-six and that gave me a lot of extra breathing space, then promoted three more times so now I'm pretty comfortable.

Unfortunately, this was also the age many men started to get married - often to university sweethearts grin As I said, I did try internet dating but had no luck with it.

I can't see it happening now because I suppose it just never has - that's all, really.

Peevish Sat 19-Jan-13 13:39:33

OP, you sound admirable, and good luck with conceiving.

Just to throw into the mix, I've benefited from short periods of therapy myself on more than one occasion - talking through big life changes/potential life changes with someone who wasn't a friend or relative and was sympathetically neutral. It's no magic bullet - and you may have to look about to find a counsellor you gel with - but you don't have to be in any way unstable or ill to find it helpful.

I have actually suggested to two close (very sane, together) friends that they might find a few sessions useful for much the same reasons I did, and they did. Your 'friend' said something unpleasant and unkind, but don't necessarily dismiss the idea of a few sessions with a counsellor out of hand, if it occurs to you, now or in future, that you might like to talk about your thoughts, or how other people's reponses to your decision make you feel. Having a baby is a big step - I have a nine-month-old and have seen someone briefly after his birth - and fertility treatment can be emotionally trying.

Best of luck.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:43:52

Thanks, Peevish. Don't worry, I don't think you have to be ill/unstable before therapy - I have tried counselling in the past, but didn't find it very helpful. I'll definitely think about it again if I feel the need to smile

Mitchy1nge Sat 19-Jan-13 13:48:46

As someone beyond the reach of therapeutic grasp I would feel sad and inferior next to her greater psychological sophistication, and I would tell her this in order that she might commiserate with me and my less psychologically minded plight.

no2way Sat 19-Jan-13 13:49:01

You seem to think that therapy is for mad people. It's not. It's a helpful tool to help a person help themself.

Just because a person has a problem doesn't mean it's their fault or they did anything wrong, eg a bereavement.

It might be good for you to try it, before you start on what itself may be a trying road.

She's your friend, she knows you better than people here.

Good luck with your family plans.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 13:51:52

Haha mitchy.

no2way - I've said twice now that I don't smile and I've also said I have had counselling in the past. It's the suggestion that I should have therapy instead of fertility treatment because therapy might lead to a boyfriend that I was a bit miffed at, as friend used to be supportive.

Who knows!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 13:59:14

To be honest, I can see where she's coming from just from what you've said so far. It sounds to me (and this is only based on what you've said, so could be total bollocks) that you have had to go through a huge amount and to some extent that has stood in the way of getting what you want out of life. You've done really well on the work front but in terms of relationships you feel what's happened has meant you haven't had the time or the headspace to have a relationship. And now you believe that it's too late to meet someone, and have taken the very big decision to go it alone, not because you actually want to, but because you've developed the belief that it's just never going to happen. I think what your friend was getting at is that your belief isn't necessarily justified and that therapy might help you get beyond it and get everything you want - not just a baby but a partner too. I think her heart was in the right place, but she probably didn't go about saying it in the right way.

grumblinalong Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:22

I kind of get where you are coming from OP. It seems your friend is suggesting you need therapy because you are and have always been single as though this is a problem that needs a solution. People really seem to struggle with long term single people. My dbro has been single all his adult life apart from a brief 2 month relationship. He has been called gay, in the closet, weird,set in his ways. He isn't. He is just very selective with his emotions and time and is happy with being single.

People who can take or leave relationships aren't a problem they are just on the spectrum of humanity. I don't understand why people find it hard to accept. Good luck with yr fertility. I was alone with ds1 from 8 weeks pg and I enjoyed the autonomy. I've had 2 further dc's with DH and found it hard not being totally in charge!

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:45

Possibly Cailin but what can I say ... time isn't on my side.

Both friends (the one who thinks I must be gay, and the one I posted about here) have never been out of a relationship. They just can't be happy alone and because of that I don't think they understand that I am - you can't miss what you have never had.

And, I really HAVE tried counselling grin but it didn't make any difference!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 14:10:16

What age are you?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:44

I don't really want to get into that because I will be told I have loads of time and about people who met their DPs at 39 and had triplets a year later grin

It is highly unlikely I will meet anyone, Internet datng has not worked (based on four years of it - no one was interested unfortunately) and the only other advice people have is "put yourself out there."

I'm happy with my choices, happy with being single, but I wouldn't be happy being childless.

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 14:19:59

Fair enough. Good luck with your treatment smile

Yika Sat 19-Jan-13 14:39:09

I would be offended to be honest. In my experience, people don't suggest therapy because they think it's of value to all humanity; they suggest it because they think you have a problem.

And as for the idea that therapy would sort you out so fast you'd be in a relationship with someone who wants children with you in the kind of timescale you're looking at... What a joke.

Carry on with your own plans. Hope it all works out for you.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 16:21:05

Thanks Yika and Cailin smile

MinnieBar Sat 19-Jan-13 17:26:52

Do you know what type of counsellor you saw in the past grass?

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 18:43:27

Person centered, I think?

nkf Sat 19-Jan-13 18:54:38

Some people can't manage singlehood. It bothers them at some deep level and they think it must bother other people in the same way. If you are offended you are, so don't worry about whether it's reasonable or not.

I think not wanting to risk always being without children is a very clear sighted way of looking at things. And I think your point about being ready to date when all the good ones had gone. I think there is a window in people's lives when the dating, marrying, children comes very easily and after that, it becomes tougher.

Do you think you need therapy? Are you unhappy? Irrational? Weepy every day? Fixated on unsuitable or daft things? Unable to stop talking about a particular incident?. Frequently falling out with people unexpectedly? Always getting fired? Those sort of behaviours (to me) might indicate that therapy could be useful.

Or perhaps you want children and have taken control of that want.

MamaBear17 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:01:01

Whilst your attitude to being in a relationship is not one that is very common, you are not the only person in the world who has decided a relationship isn't something they want. I think the issue is that because it isn't a common attitude your friends do not understand it. I am friends with a woman who sounds very similar to you, 6 years ago she had fertility treatment because she didnt want to miss out on the opportunity of having children and had twin boys. She and her boys are very happy, and she still doesnt want a relationship. I think you may have to accept that your friends perhaps do not 'get it', but they will come to understand that you are happy with your life the way it is in their own time. Good luck with the fertility treatment.

grasscrown Sat 19-Jan-13 19:11:01

Thank you both smile nfk - none of those things sound like me, I'm pleased to say. I completely agree about the 'window' - I said this to my brother a couple of years ago, that I wish I had known this before I was 25 (I am 33 this year for those who asked blush) - will be 34 at the earliest by the time I have my first child so while there is "time" there isn't a lot of it.

Both friends I have mentioned have been in a string of relationships with men who are, to be honest, quite unpleasant but seem to prefer that to being single which in turn I don't understand - but hey!

suburbophobe Sat 19-Jan-13 20:32:00

Maybe you had a bad counsellor. I've had them. They were a complete waste of time and money. It helps to "shop around" to find one you really resonate with.

And I agree with the others, a good therapist is very helpful for putting things into perspective on an objective level.

I'm a LP myself and it is the hardest job in the world! Being a parent is anyway but here you have to do 2 jobs in one, 24/7 for ever about 18-odd years.

I can understand you wanting to go ahead with this, and a relationship can always happen in the future.

However, be prepared to be able to deal with your DC when they reach 13 - 14 and start having their own relationships....

Also, have you thought of how to deal with your DC's desire to know their other parent? (if you mean fertility treatment by donor).

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sat 19-Jan-13 20:38:58

i've had loads of counselling of different types, and whilst it isn't always easy or pleasant, i recommend it to everyone.

tropicalfish Sat 19-Jan-13 20:56:51

I once suggested to a vg friend who becomes extremely morose when drunk that she would benefit from counselling. IMO she has unresolved issues.

Having a child is really really hard work and then they grow up and are rude to you ( maybe not all the time) but I think it would be really lonely doing it on your own. You will have to reduce how much time you work, maybe work 9 - 5, would that suit you, it sounds like your career is really important to you.

tropicalfish Sat 19-Jan-13 20:59:52

On another note, this week womens hour r4 have had a series of features on being single. It was very interesting.
You are right not to settle on being with someone you wouldnt be happy with.

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