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How do you know what you know?

(21 Posts)
MrsJackAubrey Thu 28-May-15 21:50:59

I have some relationship issues of my own so I lurk on this thread a lot. There is a great deal of fantastic support and kindness to be found here.

My question is, how do you know what you know? Many of you seem so sure and clear-sighted. I twist and vacillate and don't "know" what's the right thing to do in my life. Not just about my DP but loads of things in life!

When I see someone saying 'if that was me I'd have kicked him to the kerb' or 'I deserve more than to be someone's 'good enough'' or whatever, I'm so envious of your certainty.

Many of you on this thread and elsewhere on MN seem so sure.

How did you arrive at this state? I wish I was more sure. I'm not a dithery person in normal life issues, perfectly capable of chosing a pair of jeans or a holiday destination... just relationships!

MrsJackAubrey Thu 28-May-15 21:54:42

i see I've contradicted myself - I can choose jeans fine, but it's values and morality I'm not sure of, the kind of things that allow so many of you to say, this is right, this is wrong; this is what I deserve; this is unreasonable...

SelfLoathing Thu 28-May-15 22:25:26

My question is, how do you know what you know? Many of you seem so sure and clear-sighted

It's a universal truth that the answer to someone else's problem is always clear cut and simple. Same problem in your own life = round and round and dithery uncertainty.

A lot of the questions people ask on here are BIG questions. Should I break up my family? Should I leave a certain life with a partner for an uncertain future? Is it worth tolerating bad treatment for financial security and for my children to have two parents?

It's normal to be uncertain about big decisions with big consequences. It's normal to not "know" what is the right thing to do.

It's much easier to tell a total stranger it's all black and white and xyz is the right thing.

RagstheInvincible Thu 28-May-15 22:34:31

Because we're a bunch of anonymous people on the internet talking about other anonymous people and their problems. There's no comeback on us if our advice turns out to be shite. In those circumstances, it's easy to be certain.

Norest Thu 28-May-15 22:39:01

Because saying and doing are two completely different creatures. smile

Is there something you are confused about at the moment to do with a relationship?

newnamesamegame Thu 28-May-15 22:43:02

I'd add also that many, if not most, of the people who post advice regularly on this board have been through marital problems, in many cases involving abuse, and can spot the signs a mile off.

It's much easier to be clear-eyed when you've been through something and come out the other side than it is when you are new to it and hoping it will all go away.

I vacillated for years before leaving my marriage, mainly because I wanted it all to go away and not to have to face up to it. Now I've come out of the other side I realise it was blindingly obvious back then but I was in denial about it. A lot of the confusion in my own head was actually just me not facing up to the reality.

MakeItRain Thu 28-May-15 22:44:02

I don't think it's just about spouting stuff that may or may not be shite! I think it's because most of the people on these forums have been through and survived a fair bit of rubbish.

When another poster tells of a situation that rings alarm bells of familiarity, you just want desperately to warn them to avoid making the same mistakes and going through the same difficult experiences. I think it can make people quite forthright in their advice.

daisychain01 Thu 28-May-15 22:44:09

In fairness though Rags I think it's about 80-20 in favour of people giving solid advice on here.

People draw on their experiences and read all the in-books that help them identify those Red Flags. Life teaches us stuff, bitter experience and all that!

Ouchbloodyouch Thu 28-May-15 22:46:43

In my own case I only know 'what i know' with the benefit of hindsight. For example my last boyfriend never put me high on his agenda. He would come home from work go to the gym, meet a friend then turn up to my house to find food and a shag (aka booty call) he often cancelled his booty call if a better offer came up blush. I tolerated it and he didn't value me.
So if someone posted 'my boyfriend only comes round after 9pm and often cancels on me' I would say that I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behaviour... and I wouldn't. Now blush I'd like to think I would explain why but I would probably forget to!

Hassled Thu 28-May-15 22:49:09

I think often it's the benefit of hindsight that gives people the subsequent certainty. If you've been through infidelity/abuse/divorce etc, then you'll read a thread and be able to say "I'd never put up with that" - because you know you never would again. But chances are you did, at some point - most of us dither and worry and have uncertainties; it's just being human.

ALaughAMinute Thu 28-May-15 22:49:34

I just say LTB on every thread and nine times out of ten it's good advice! grin

MrsJackAubrey Thu 28-May-15 23:20:02

It's interesting to hear that you don't feel you were 'taught' stuff like this by your parents, or by society, but had to learn it from experience.

Newnames - yep "A lot of the confusion in my own head was actually just me not facing up to the reality". So I'm hearing that you folks have had to face up to various realities, and have learned clarity from having done so.

Norest, yes there is but I'll need to name change (and grow a pair, as I KNOW already what the advice will be, but I'm too scared to hear it) beforehand as my SIL is on MN.

I'll be back!

newnamesamegame Fri 29-May-15 05:43:29

I just think that once you've been through a memorable, life-changing and unpleasant scenario once you are quite attuned to the signs.

Hassled is also right -- its easy to say "never again" but even the toughest people have usually put up with some sh** in relationships before they learned how to stand up for themselves.

Joysmum Fri 29-May-15 06:52:28

I try to think about things logically and dispassionately to see whats acceptable and desirable. My aim is to go for black and white facts in a list type way.

If things aren't good then I try to change them. If they aren't able to be changed, is it a deal breaker? Could things be better without this person.

Skiptonlass Fri 29-May-15 09:25:28

Definitely easier to pronounce on other peoples problems ...

And they do say hindsight is 20:20..,

Bit I think a lot of it comes from life experience. Society still places immense pressure on girls and women to be 'nice' often at the expense of them being treated well. I mean look at the current crop of TV program's - reality tv shit telling everyone they can be famous, as long as they're pretty... Utter bollocks.
When was the last time you saw a woman in the media being praised for being smart? Angela merkel, for example, is one smart lady but it's all about her appearance. Michelle Obama is smart, but her outfits get more press than her work.

So women are socialised from birth to be nice. To not speak up and to not flaunt their intelligence. This leads to many women accepting treatment that they should not- society tells you your role is to be better for your man, to put up with it. Maybe if you were thinner, or had more sex, etc, he wouldn't hit you , or stray.

Well balls to that. I think you hit a point in your life where you've been through enough that you see through all this. I certainly think the ladies on this board do.

That's why I get so pissed off with words like nagging/shrew/ bossy. Men are NEVER called this, ever. These words are designed to put us back in our boxes and shut us up. So is the idea that men should treat us like princesses. Fuck that too. I don't want to be a princess, I want to be men's equal. I want to be a scientist, or an engineer, or a surgeon, not arm candy.

Anyway, rant over. smile in answer to your question, it's because people learn through bitter experience and have their eyes open to how shittily society still treats women

Meerka Fri 29-May-15 09:36:47

It's a universal truth that the answer to someone else's problem is always clear cut and simple. Same problem in your own life = round and round and dithery uncertainty.

<laughing> so so true!

For me, it's experience. Learning the hard way. The clarity of what's okay and what's not okay, and learning more about how people tick, are the only silver linings for the painful experiences.

Dowser Fri 29-May-15 09:57:34

Those of us who have been through it would now recognise the signs and there would be a lower tolerance level than before .

If we let them messes about before we now know what the pattern is because human behaviour doesn't change that much. Lie to me once your fault. Lie to me twice ,my fault for letting a liar back into my life.

It's called experience.

If there's children involved some women are more likely to put up with things that they probably wouldn't do on their own.

We are all different.

It's all about being comfortable with yourself and knowing where your line in the sand is drawn.

Dowser Fri 29-May-15 10:00:07

Mess us about before,

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 29-May-15 10:01:25

I know what I like and know what I don't like when it comes to people and their behaviour, I always have.

I am very bad at getting the right pair of jeans though. ;)

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 29-May-15 10:09:48

Another thing- some girls especially are socialised into thinking relationships are everything.

Dd always says to me 'when I get married...' And I always say, 'hey you might not want to...' etc etc...(how annoying!)

for me, a relationship has to be really good/respectful otherwise what's the point?

Being single is great- he has to be a really nice fella to get me to give that up...

PeppermintCrayon Fri 29-May-15 10:27:36

I am a survivor of child abuse and neglect, rape and DV.

I have had a lot of therapy and spent a lot of time re-educating myself.

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