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To be astonished at how shit my life seems compared to other MNers

(64 Posts)
Momentumista Fri 25-Nov-16 16:45:56

I really value the support I get on MN but am often taken aback at the strength of feeling and the dramatic solutions (LTB) expressed about negative things in my life.

Things which (because they are my normality) I just take for granted. Like DH not being supportive, not standing up for myself, not putting up with being nagged etc, having had a difficult life, a past I am ashamed of.

Are most people's lives rally so good & complete with perfect relationships? Or have people just learnt from bad experiences?

I have problems but in RL, but manage to hold down a job and seem fairly normal (hopefully) to the casual onlooker.

My problems to me seem like shades of grey, while on MN they sometimes seem very black and white. Not sure where I am going with this really but just feeling a bit alone and confused.

Haggisfish Fri 25-Nov-16 16:49:55

My life is great and part of that has been recognising poor relationships and getting out of them. I am prone to anxiety so work hard to avoid situations which make it worse. I have a good job that I planned for but am looking to change career in future so am working on that. I also know what makes me happy and make sure I have time to do it. I'm lucky in that I have a fab mum who helps me a lot. I don't underestimate how much that helps me.

Haggisfish Fri 25-Nov-16 16:50:38

Sorry-I spent a lot of my twenties figuring out the stuff above!

honeylulu Fri 25-Nov-16 16:51:12

No one on here has a perfect life or perfect marriage I can promise you. When I post i might seem confident about my opinions and choices but in reality I'm often plagued with self doubt and worry.

LilaTheLion Fri 25-Nov-16 16:53:32

My life is nice now. Because I've worked incredibly hard to make it that way.

After an abusive childhood, and sleepwalking through two subsequent abusive relationships, with no useful qualifications because of this (E in A level RE, anyone?), and a string of not great jobs... I left the bastard, lived happily ish on the poverty line and retrained. Despite swearing off men forever accidentally met my lovely DP (who is a real good guy).

It's far too easy to say 'LTB' 'retrain in something you love' on the internet. But it's possible, if you are prepared to make all sorts of other sacrifices. And eventually (sometimes seems like never when you're in it) there's happiness.

BestZebbie Fri 25-Nov-16 16:54:05

Often Mumsnet threads are framed such that the answers concentrate on what would be different in an ideal situation, and that the solution to the problem is then to move from the situation in the OP to there. In real life, as you know, there isn't a single ideal situation that people are in unless they have lapsed out of it for some reason.

On the other hand, there is an awful lot of ground between "having a perfect relationship" and "DH hits me/has an OW/prevents me having ££ for our baby/believes in housework fairies" - most people are in that middle space, but how happy they are with where they are depends on their own expectations (which come from their background, previous experience, what society tells them to expect, etc).

LilaTheLion Fri 25-Nov-16 16:55:06

*having said all that, of course life is not perfect. I have 2 teen DDs and a dreadful ex and all the issues that come with them. But the good now outweighs the bad.

dowhatnow Fri 25-Nov-16 16:56:18

I think people with more healthy upbringings don't tend to end up in unhealthy situations in the first place. That doesn't mean everything is perfect - far from it, but perhaps some people don't put up with crap and don't attract crap treatment because they have benefitted from knowing what good and respectful relationships are, and either avoid such men or dump them immediately red flags appear.
These people are lucky because they are a product of their upbringings. If those same people had had a past such as yours, they also may be more vulnerable than they are with their more normal upbringing/parents.

ShowMePotatoSalad Fri 25-Nov-16 16:56:49

Sorry you are feeling alone and confused. Internet forums can be a good place to chat and a good release, but they aren't going to be the real answer to your problems (and it can be hard to take advice/home truths on the chin).

But no, most people don't have perfect lives or relationships.

Have you considered seeking some counselling? It might help you make your mind up about what you want in life. You don't have to be unhappy. You can make changes and it's not always easy to do that but it's possible.

peggyundercrackers Fri 25-Nov-16 17:11:32

don't believe everything you read on the internet.

its easy for people to say I would do x, y, z in a given situation but if they haven't been in the situation they wouldn't know how they would react, they might like to think they would react in a certain way but it doesn't always work out like that.

cheweduprope Fri 25-Nov-16 17:12:26

My life is not perfect, and nor is my relationship. However, I do manage to avoid most of the drama discussed on here (and mentioned in your OP) because of one simple thing: I am very confident, very assertive, and I have high self-esteem.

It sounds like those are things you could do with working on. Perhaps through counselling, or just through reading some literature on the subject and trying to reflect on yourself and your life. (I used to read a lot of stuff on Buddhism and meditation, which was very valuable to me).

Confident and assertive people do not get into relationships with people who don't treat them well, because they know they can do better. They also don't put up with shit at work, or from family, or strangers. Which may not result in a perfect life, but it certainly reduces the levels of negativity in my life to near non-existent.

PickAChew Fri 25-Nov-16 17:14:14

I've been following your other thread. Nope, life is definitely not a never ending bed of roses for me in any sense, but the thorns!

And, like many on here, I have the hindsight of having left a long, bad marriage with a very difficult man who could mither for England.

MauiWest Fri 25-Nov-16 17:15:56

First, you don't know who the posters are in real life at all. There is a lot of exaggeration and make belief on this forum, and internet in general.
Then, even if the posters are genuine, you don't know their real life. How do you describe your life in a couple of paragraphs? It cannot be realistic.
Then again, some people had a happy childhood, a fairly easy life, and with insights, no real problems. It happens. Whilst no one has a perfect relationship, it's true that some people don't settle for a bad partner, and move on and only get serious when they meet the right one.

I have never been in an abusive relationship, ever. I might have been, if I had stayed with some people from my past, who knows. I never stayed that long with someone who didn't feel right. It's easier when you are young. In some case, it is that black and white.

I really believe some posters are not realistic "you must divorce your DH if he dares leaving his socks on the floor" Really? Did they really divorce their DH for a minor infraction, or are they bitterly single in real life and not making any sense? However, it's also true that others would simply not settle with someone they are not best friends with. No one has a perfect life.

MariePoppins Fri 25-Nov-16 17:16:38

No my life hasnt always been great. Ive hard times too, like every one else. Ive made mistakes but yes I suppose one difference from what you are describing is that I ve learnt from them (eg learning to stand up for myself).
It is possible that I have been able to do that because I had enough self confidence in the first place.
Or because I have looked at things as an opportunity to learn.
Or because Ive just beeing purely lucky in the people I have found myself surrounded with, lucky with the opportunities I got.

But I think you also need to remember that people on the internet dish out advice and tell people you should never do xxx as if they were never doing it (getting angry at their dc is one for example). Except that they arent angels and of course it happens sometimes. But they arent going to tell you that!

The thing to remember though is that it is NOT a reason to accept crap from a partner, not try to retrain etc....

Owllady Fri 25-Nov-16 17:18:07

I don't buy the whole perfect life charade. Most people have shit going on that's nothing like perfection
Everything isn't meant to be okay <green day>

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Fri 25-Nov-16 17:20:23

I don't know, MN makes me count my lucky stars more then anything else. I don't know how k would have carried on after some of the experiences that some women share. I'm in awe of how resilient and brave so many of them are.

Fadingmemory Fri 25-Nov-16 17:21:57

I learned the hard way that my need for a great deal of independence does not match with marriage to or living with a partner. I was trying to fit in with what I saw as the social norm.

nilbyname Fri 25-Nov-16 17:23:52

I'm sorry you're going through a crappy time.

Maybe you're shades of grey are the blackest of black for some and so what you're threshold for tolerating stuff is way different for others.

NicknameUsed Fri 25-Nov-16 17:28:14

"Are most people's lives rally so good & complete with perfect relationships?"

No, but they probably have different problems. I am fortunate that OH and I have a fantastic relationship - we have been married for 35 years, BUT there have been some potentially life changing health issues, and DD has had loads of problems at school.

I feel like you do when posters post how confident and outgoing their children are and that they have loads of friends.

Different problems, same worries.

WorraLiberty Fri 25-Nov-16 17:29:47

I think a lot of Mumsnetters just learn to post the 'common/collective Mumsnet answer' to other people's problems.

It doesn't necessarily mean they apply the same advice to themselves.

No-one has a 'perfect' relationship anyway. It's just that some are stronger/happier than others I guess.

But also remember this is the internet, and people can build up an online persona that's completely different to their real lives.

I guess it's a form of escapism for some.

U2HasTheEdge Fri 25-Nov-16 17:36:11

My 20's were a train wreck. If I was posting here then I would have spent most of my time being badly flamed. Some of the choices I made were bad.

Things changed for me when I divorced and met my husband in my late 20's. It was then that I got self-respect, confidence and made better decisions.

My life is not perfect. My mental health is shit, my husband's mental health is shit. Our marriage is great but it's not all been smooth sailing obviously.

I haven't got a mortgage, I haven't got a well paid job and I haven't got what a lot of others have got but I am content with what I have. I had a crap childhood due to my dad, witnessed my mum in abusive relationships. I have issues but I learned from them to get the marriage I have now. I had no good role models when it comes to relationships at all. I had to figure it out from my mum's mistakes.

Life hasn't been easy, it isn't a bed or roses but I'm finally content, but it took a lot of work to get here.

CozumelFox Fri 25-Nov-16 17:37:46

(thread about a thread?)

Most us don't have 'perfect lives' but I find it quite surprising what comes out when you put someone with a good spouse (helps, speaks kindly and respectfully, can operate a washing machine, helps raise children) and someone with a duff one together (barely speaks, ignores children, aggressive to others) to share experiences. Sometimes I think people with the poor spouses don't know the good ones exist - that 'all' partners must behave in this way. When they're told "Oh, um you see, him screaming in your face really isn't normal" or "He emptied your bank accounts and spent it on booze? LTB!" they think it's excessive because, by their standards, it's a mere piffly tiff of nothing, whereas to another, it's a total dealbreaker.

Ultimately yeah, your experiences do sound unusual and out of the norm. Mrs Average likely doesn't have 'a past she's ashamed of' or a verbally aggressive spouse. But that doesn't mean her life's 'perfect' and yours is 'shit', just that... I dunno, everyone's different. And everyone's got their breaking point where they just say 'enough is enough'.

People say LTB gets thrown around too much, but I rarely see it in unnecessary threads like leaving socks on floors or ugly laughing or something. I see it in threads about aggression, theft, violence, total disregard for feelings and verbal abuse that could escalate to violence, financial abuse, or spouses who simply wander off and live single lives while their partner and children stay at home wondering where they are. I have never had a relationship that was anything like that. It's so far removed from my experience I find it heartbreaking that so many threads run along those lines, because obviously it's clearly common, and my experience (a kind DH, gentle, a best friend, a loving father) can seem out of the norm (though I guess it's just people with good spouses don't make threads about them.)

RedStripeLassie Fri 25-Nov-16 17:38:28

Oh god yes! I don't know if everyone's lives are amazing and they don't take shit from anyone or is it that that's how people want to appear.

glitterandtinsel Fri 25-Nov-16 17:40:26

It depends which threads you follow. Some threads are people in horrible situations. Abuse, terminal illness, bereavement (sometimes dcs who have died,) to think of a few. Some with first world problems like, which handbag should I buy, my mil wants to spend money on my dcs, my dh wants to take me on holiday...
Get yourself to a place of strength where you can change the things you are unhappy about. Counselling, cbt, woman's aid use any resource to help you find the strength. Sadly you have to do it without someone else rescuing you, it doesn't work that way.

shovetheholly Fri 25-Nov-16 17:52:17

I do think Mumsnet can be polarising. Often it comes from a good place of wanting to support. But you get what I call 'internet drift', where a person will tentatively commit to a position, be challenged on it, and then over-commit. Sometimes people start saying stuff that clearly indicates that they have moved quite a way from the original post (and have forgotten what it says).

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