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How to be happy?!!(19 Posts)
So wise relationship mumsnetters..... I am in a fairly new relationship after a few years being single. I found the strength to walk away from a long and very unhappy and emotionally abusive marriage. Trouble is, turns out despite lots of counselling I'm more scarred than I thought.
I'm in love, he's a good man, but when I used to daydream about finally meeting the right person for me, my imaginary man was totally different to the real life one I've found. I don't trust my own judgement anymore. Are my imaginary tick boxes important? I have nagging doubts but can't justify them.
How do you learn to be happy and be satisfied with life? How do you know a good thing when it is probably staring you in the face? Even if it doesn't match up to what you thought you wanted, as daydreams are full of fantasy and not reality?! It's also hard when you mix two people who have children, full time jobs etc etc and never enough time to conduct a relationship and you're not veering towards the traditional goals of living together etc. It's like learning a whole new way of doing things and it's all so unfamiliar.
Not sure I'm making sense or what I'm asking really. Just want to be happy. But now the honeymoon period is over I'm not sure what day to day happiness feels like. More damaged than I thought. Can anyone recommend any reading or wise tips? Perhaps happiness starts from within is true and more counselling is needed!! But can't find the right one. Thanks for any thoughts x
Can't find the right counsellor I meant. I've seen two and can't face going over it all again....
I think I get where you are coming from. I don't think I can live with my boyfriend at any time in the next few years, it's too complicated. And then that means won't get married. It's not the picture I may have had.
And intially neither was he. I had this whole other picture of what a man might look like or be like and he's not at all. But he's so kind, and so lovely that all those pictures just kind of fade, and he's the picture instead?
But it could be that this isn't about that, it's about you having a fantasy in your mind that you can't seem to shake off because it's easier to hang on to a fantasy than actually live things for real?
Thanks so much for your reply. I am glad you picture faded and / or he became your picture. I hope my picture fades too because I know I have a good kind man who would do anything for me or my children. And the bits he hasn't got that my fantasy man has, I know are shallow and shouldn't matter. So why can't I let them go?!! I'm not sure if I'm using them as an excuse, self-sabotaging and go back to the safety of singledom! Where I was content but lonely at the same time. I can talk myself out of or into anything, too much head and not enough heart. Can't win, I need help!
I just feel my judgement is wrecked. Can't work out if I am 'settling', even tho for the most part he makes me happy or whether he is in fact wonderful and I have watched / read too many idealistic romantic films / books.
I mean it could be that he isn't right for you but you don't want to let him go because he's kind and nice. I think some other things usually are the key there - is he more a friend than a lover? Do you have sexual chemistry?
I enjoyed being single too and had a wobble about 'settling' and things like he really likes talking on the phone and I don't much, whether I wanted to commit to the hassle of talking on the bloody phone but the more time I spend with him the more I enjoy his company and miss him when he isn't there. I had spent a long time by myself and it's hard to get used to sharing things again.
Also films and books do have a lot to answer for...
Try focussing on one day at a time and getting as much enjoyment and gratitude out of each one. He might be Mr Right or he might be Mr Right Now, you will know when your enjoyment of lots of individual days is less than it used to be.
It doesn't matter how far you look ahead, there are still no guarantees.
Mindfulness. This moment, now. Just.
Thanks all. I can see the sense in everything said. The sexual chemistry has been amazing. Which I struggled to get my head around if I thought about it too much as he's so not physically what I would usually find myself attracted too. Beer belly... I hate myself for being so shallow but at the same time I love his brain and definitely more than a friend in the ways that matter.
He takes it personally when I want time on my own as he says he'd be with me all the time if we could. So it again makes me question my feelings. But I just think after years on my own I'm another one who values my own space. One day at a time is a good way to live but I don't want to lead him up a garden path if I have doubts. But I won't even know if they're doubts or wobbles, scared of being hurt, or just having to get my head around reality being different to fantasy. Deffo more counselling for me!!!
Maybe it isn't all you if he is insecure and needs/wants your free time?
There are certainly things about my BF I would have ruled out on some imaginary list at some point but I am no perfect woman myself so find it easier to accept flaws in others as I age?
Really appreciate your responses BumDNC thank you. Yep good point. I am definitely not without fault. But then in my counselling after my abusive marriage I was taught to value myself, hence sometimes the confusion. Am I settling or expecting something unrealistic?!! Or is he just plain old fashioned not right for me? He is definitely a bit insecure but then so am I. I don't think I expect perfection just don't yet trust my judgment on where the compromises should be. Day at a time!
Can anybody recommend any books around this please? You know, not seeking perfection, learning to be content, adjusting after long term abusive relationships? Thank you x
I'm not really into this whole "the difference between men and women" thing but I've never had a "picture" in my head of my ideal woman, or had any expectation of what my future lovers might be like. Not even physically - I can never predict who I'm going to fancy. Beyond intelligence and some nice curves I don't have a type at all.
So I suppose I'd ask - is this a woman thing, or is it a you thing? I feel like specific expectations / dreams probably aren't that helpful because they sound like they'd stop you from seeing the man you have in front of you properly. As someone else said, maybe some mindfulness techniques to help you live more in the now?
I'm not sure if this will help or not but I was with my ex for 6 years and constantly felt like I was trying really hard to be content the whole time. When we finally broke up I realised intrinsically we had different values and the things that made me happy and content weren't things he valued and vice versa. Which I think contributed to me constantly being aware that I wasn't content in the same way he was.
With DP it's so different. It feels like we're part of the same team and have very similar values and goals. I truly have never been happier and actually said to him the other day that I had always worried I was someone who couldn't be content with life as I'm quite driven, but in reality I just wasn't content with the situation I was in at the time.
Thank you for your responses, I appreciate them. fulberoo I wish I could be more like you. Ditch these preconceived ideas!! Due to how I've been left financially I've had to ditch many of my preconceived ideas of where I'd be, at this stage of my life, in terms of a house and financial security. I've adjusted my thinking quite well I think and have had to let it go and make huge adjustments. So I just wish I could roll more with this relationship and let go of this stupid picture of my 'ideal man'. Because same as you wifeyFish I actually feel we very much have shared values and goals and we really support each other. The things that bother me are so shallow and concern appearance, lifestyle that I feel embarrassed at admitting it when we click on so many levels. I know these things shouldn't matter. And they probably don't. Think i just look to sabotage rather than take a risk at being happy, I feel safer on my own
You cannot let go of your fantasy man's perfect traits because we are human beings that dream of what they cannot have. We are taught to seek perfection and not settle for less, that is what we get when we finally find some happiness and seem to think it just isn't enough.
The only healthy course of action I can see is to see which is better - the things you have created in your mind, or what the reality of this man is. Another thing is that maybe the things that bug you are just things that can in fact become reality, but you haven't found a way to discuss them?
He takes it personally when I want time on my own as he says he'd be with me all the time if we could.
That really does not sound good. I wonder if your instincts are trying to tell you something, and you're picking it up as "he's not what I expected to end up with" rather than "he's potentially controlling".
After your marriage, did you seek any counselling specifically about EA? The Freedom Programme or similar?
Thanks for the replies. That's such a good point about which is better, fantasy or reality. Straight away my reaction was my reality is better, which pleased me! I'll never meet anyone that ticks all my daft boxes and the ones that he does tick are actually way more important than the ones he doesn't. Some of the things he doesn't tick could become reality but actually i admire the fact he is very comfortable about who he is. He's all for communicating and compromising to make our relationship work but has a healthy grip around not changing yourself to please someone else. Anyway he doesn't need to change. He's a good decent man, it's me that needs to change my mindset, or let him go if he's really not right.
I feel I've done him an injustice when I say he takes it personally if I don't spend time with him. He's never given me a hard time, I feel I've worded that wrong on reflection. He has friends and other interests, but beyond that he'd always choose to spend time with me and was a bit surprised when I didn't say the same. But it wasn't a problem. He knows I need my space.
I think actually my problem is more that I can't accept being happy and cling onto any reason to pick it apart. God this is such a self indulgent thread!!!! I didn't persevere with my counselling long enough. I need to find the funds and go back, good shout about the freedom programme, thanks.
It's possible you are finding a happy, healthy relationship hard to handle if you are used to a toxic one. Oddly, you could be "more comfortable" when there is lots of drama because that is what you are used to.
The Power of Now - Eckart Tolle.
The Direct Path - Rupert Spira.
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