AIBU to assume that the majority of people in the relationships forum...

(58 Posts)
Joysmum Mon 11-Nov-13 09:26:48

...are there because they have had (and are still hurting from), or are in the middle of, unhappy relationships?

EdithWeston Mon 11-Nov-13 13:57:17

I think YABU, but I see where you're coming from.

I think you are assuming that all regular posters on Relationshios threads deliberately hang out in at forum. Now, some might, but others (like me) use MN from Active Convos and click on threads from any forum that catch our eye at that moment.

Also, I don't think you need to have a particular background from your own relationships to spot issues in someone else's posts (which may or may not be presenting the whole story anyhow).

I think there is a level of commonality of advice - not as black and white as portrayed by detractors (I don't mean you, OP, but it's something that crops up occasionally), but based on a couple of things: the majority demographic of posters who are in LTRs that are meant to be monogamous; and the general concept that Michelle Obama summed up as "good relationships don't hurt"

AnandaTimeIn Mon 11-Nov-13 13:56:57

if you have lots of relationships experience, you haven't been that successful.

It really depends on your definition of successful.

Mine is being able to live independently, live the life I want to and if someone comes along to compliment that, great. If not, no problem.

Joysmum Mon 11-Nov-13 13:46:21

Cailindana I will if I think of something specific I will.

I guess it's just that I think it's natural for those going through something to be more sensitive to it than those who aren't and when combined with people who may be feeling very sensitive and vulnerable this could be quite damaging.

Take something simply like a headache, a migraine sufferer will be wondering if their friend might be developing migraines, those who have lost loved ones through brain tumours are worried about ruling that out, others with sleep issues may think there's a chance of a night time bump on the head, as a glasses wearer I may think its time for another eye test. There's many reason why and our experiences shape us to think mainly of the ones that have been most relevant to us in our lives.

I picked the relationships forum specifically because it something I can relate to that includes vulnerable people, people who see their thread getting caught up with members more interested in fighting amongst each other and forgetting the original question.

I've had too much time on my hands recently and one thing I've found very interesting is to catch up on older long threads before I began lurking and to read only the posts written by the original poster, then to read everything. It's amazing how different my perspective is when I'm swayed by the thoughts of other members. Again, I should point out it's not me looking for a fight, just something I find fascinating.

ABitterPIL Mon 11-Nov-13 13:39:29

I am yet to meet a person who hasn't had ups and downs in any relationship, platonic, familial or otherwise.

As the very very vast majority of people have experienced downs in a relationship, the very vast majority of the people on the relationship would have experience too. It is a non question.

Grennie Mon 11-Nov-13 13:38:34

YABU. I am in a very happy relationship and sometimes comment in the relationships board.

MadBusLady Mon 11-Nov-13 13:38:10

Oh good, another one of these.

Geckos48 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:34:24

YABU, I have posted in the relationships forum while upset about aspects of my otherwise healthy and happy relationship.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 11-Nov-13 13:33:58

< approving nod >

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 13:33:19

Nah Mist, I keep him around for his coffee making skills smile.

flippinada Mon 11-Nov-13 13:32:23

Good post * Cailin* - much more eloquent than mine.

flippinada Mon 11-Nov-13 13:30:16

Maybe they are, but why does it matter? There are few people who don't have a story to tell - and peer support can be invaluable.

My own experience of relationships is that it's mainly populated by kind, thoughtful people who give up their time to offer help, advice, support or just a listening ear.

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 13:26:39

Joys - if you could describe a situation that illustrates your point it would be useful.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 11-Nov-13 13:25:02

CD, you mean you haven't LTB yet ? wink

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 13:23:29

From a feminist point of view I find threads like this one very interesting. They pop up fairly regularly and usually say pretty much the same thing - that the people posting on relationship are biased or have some sort of agenda, ie they're telling women to leave relationships when those women should stay and work on the relationship.
Thing is, I've been on MN for years and I've never ever seen a thread where the OP has posted about something genuinely minor only to be told s/he's being abused. In fact in a hormonal fit of rage I once posted a really petty thread about my (totally non abusive) DH failing repeatedly to empty the bin and I was (rightly) told to unbunch my knickers and give the poor fecker a break.
I think that women are so strongly socialised to "work at" (ie accept heaps of shit) relationships that seeing so many women identifying shitty beaviour not as something the woman has to."deal with" but as what it is- totally unacceptable - can come as a shock.

Backinthering Mon 11-Nov-13 13:23:17

Actually it's people in happy, healthy relationships who are well placed to help those thst are not make sense ofbeing in an unaunacceptable situation.

Joysmum Mon 11-Nov-13 13:16:46

There's a great range of responses on here and I'm glad I asked the question.

There's a big difference between posting for debate and trying to pick a fight. I love programmes like Question Time and The Jeremy Vine Show that take a topic and debate the issues and are less likely to get in a bun fight.

Again, I'll say that having history and issues is no bad thing and I think it's a reflection of people's experiences if they think it is. I had to kiss a fair few frogs in my time before found my husband. That hasn't always been plain sailing either but it's a better relationship as I learnt from my past.

I genuinely believe most people are good people and that most situations can be solved by talking things through and better communication. Even in the cases where it can't be solved, I also think the termination of a relationship, be it with a friend, family member or partner, needs to go right through a process to ensure it's not worth saving. This seems to be lacking sometimes, not always.

Of course if hubby had posted about some of our differences in the past he'd have been told to leave me, if I posted about things then I'd be told the same, when reality is that people do have arguments and disagreements.

Reminds me of my daughter once coming home telling me she'd been bullied at school. This is something I'm very sensitive to as I was bullied myself. When I asked her about it, it was just that some people didn't agree with her!

I digress.

I guess it's only natural that more people will have experienced issues that are still raw and that affects the advice given. I do the same as I only go on my weightless forum when I need to focus. When all was well I stopped.

sparklysilversequins Mon 11-Nov-13 12:55:30

Probably. So what?

firesidechat Mon 11-Nov-13 12:44:01

I've probably posted twice in response to an OP in relationships. The reason that I don't post more often is that I have zero experience of abusive relationships or infidelity. I've been very happily married for almost 30 years.

Sometimes the only people who can help with relationship issues such as these are mumsnetters who have experienced it for themselves and come out the other side. Of course there is a risk of too many ltb type comments, but I have a lot of admiration for those who take time to help others through some very difficult and distressing situations.

onetiredmummy Mon 11-Nov-13 12:43:16

On the contrary Joysmum, I was basing my replies on the information you gave.

Firstly your opening post & title says that you assume the people posting in the Relationships forum are or have had unhappy relationships. This is not true. Your implication is that people such as these clearly do not know what a normal relationship is & as such should not be advising others.

Your comment: * those in perfectly happy relationships can't see what all the fuss is about and a bit more relaxed about things.* is simplistic & patronising as you are basically saying because I'm in a stable relationship I am relaxed about other people's abuse & downplay it. Again not true.

With these inferences in mind can you really not see why I would think your posts nasty? May I also point out that this is not just my view, there are others on the thread who accuse you of being goady & trying to start a fight. Perhaps this is also because your thread was neutral so people could not see why you were asking.

I post a lot in different boards & in Relationships as well. TBH if you are vulnerable & get hurt by being called nasty then aibu is not the place for you. Perhaps one time I will be fortunate enough to be able to help you or vice versa (as I have my own thread this morning) but being called thoughtless by you is infuriating.

tangerinefeathers Mon 11-Nov-13 12:25:46

As others have said, I think the people who offer advice and insight do so with the best intentions, a vast majority of the time. Some people are very wise and give kind, empathetic responses - possibly based on their own experience, possibly also because they are outside the situation so can see things the OP can't.

Others just seem to go there to hurt. For example, posting 'You're being over the top x' is not one of those wise, insightful posts. And the x seems really insincere fake. Just so you know.

Thumbwitch Mon 11-Nov-13 11:36:49

We do post, based on our own experience - what else can we do? But that's what makes the advice more useful, surely?

I have some experience of a mildly abusive relationship with a pathological liar, who thankfully left me and moved onto someone else. I can therefore see signs of it in other people's behaviours. I couldn't see the signs while I was still in that relationship. This doesn't mean that I automatically assume that ALL men are pathological, abusive liars.

I also have experience of the way a man will change and re-write history when coming out of a longterm relationship. I have experience of not believing how low he could sink, the depths to which he would stoop. I was told by my own mother and gave her loads of grief about how "he would never do that" - well guess what, he did. And many other men do too - again, not all, but most.

JinglingRexManningDay Mon 11-Nov-13 11:33:04

I give advice on the relationship board because I have been in an abusive relationship and I remember feeling so lost and alone afterwards. I don't ever want anyone who has come through abuse to feel like that,even if I'm just words on a screen I can be comforting and supportive words.

Sometimes people get wrong advice which doesn't match their situation, sometimes that is advice that wrongly calls the partner abusive. "

I have never seen the partner wrongly called abusive by the majority. The behaviour has been abusive and has been called such, but I have never seen the majority ( there are occasional over reactions but these are the minority), say to a woman end your relationship for good, based on one incident.

I have seen posters say that the DH needs to stay elsewhere, based on one incident, as they need space and that is correct. Things can escalate quite easily and everyone has the right to be safe in their own home.

But that happens on every thread across MN (except possibly the Craft section).

I disagree with a lot across AIBU, especially about giving money for presents, shaving everywhere and enjoying fancy dress (which I agree with).

I would worry more about DA being minimised that the odd over reaction. When I first posted in that section, the effect on the children wasn't being addressed enough.

I am glad some if the pussy footing around has stopped.

LadyInDisguise Mon 11-Nov-13 11:24:53

The thing is, it's impossible to get a balanced pov from a forum and yes some comments can be hurtful and some comments such as LTB can be destructive because it's just impossible to get the full picture from a few posts.
There are cases though where things are more clear cut. Abuse, alcohol problems, cheating partner etc... are prob some them.
Others where the situation is much more complex and actually involved mistakes from both sides (but you only get one side of the story).
And others too where people just can not get the situation at al and the advise is just completely wrong (I've experienced that).

But as to why people actually post even though they've never posted before. I think it's simple tbh. We all have had issues in our relationships. It's part of life. And quite a few of us also want to support and help. So we share.
It's not just about relationships tbh. I know that when dc1 was little, I was amazed at what some posters were posting on the parenting threads and how wise these women were. I thought there was no way I would be able to give advise like this. And then dc1 grew up, I had dc2 and I realized that, having a much better idea of what I was doing, I could give some good advise too. So I did. Even though I had never posted about my own issues.
But I knew that the reading I had done had influenced me, I had learnt things I didn't know (and would not have heard about) thanks to these threads.

I think I see where you are coming from OP, I have occasionally lurked in Relationships but almost never post. I choose to assume that those posting in support are doing so because they genuinely want to help and feel the need to give their time and energy in this way. I am frequently bowled over by the quality and depth of the advice offered.

I don't post, not because I have no experience with unhappy relationships but, because I find that if I hold off the post button for a few minutes someone will come along and say what I wanted to say but a whole lot better.

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