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kevbo's avatar

How do I count to ten?

Asked by kevbo (25634points) April 23rd, 2008

Okay, this is kind of a rant disguised as a question. Please forgive me.

My gf turns 50 today (4/24), and the past week has been nothing but stiff-arms for me and depression for her. Today, I had to endure dinner with her girlfriend and a talk about how (essentially) I couldn’t possibly understand at my age what it’s like to get old, lose your looks, have less energy, blah, blah. (I have puh-lenty of experience with all of those feelings, but it’s not about me, so I am biting a fucking fault line in my tongue all through dinner.) She’s doing the “I feel old, fat and ugly” routine, and “I don’t need you to convince me that I’m not old, fat and ugly, I need you to acknowledge my feelings.” Yeah, well, she’s been saying a version of that since we’ve been together, so it’s not a new revelation, just amplified because it’s her 50th birthday.

I’m pissed because instead of enjoying this week and our relationship, it’s just a total goddamned drag. Granted, I’ve been dead weight on many occasions during our time together, but this is just irritating. So, I’m putting on a happy face, making this week about her and pulling together some thoughtful presents, but right now a big part of me wants to say this is not what I’m imagining for myself in the long run.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent my spleen. Have at it, if you will.

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15 Answers

Allie's avatar

You sound unhappy. Are you?
If the answer is yes, you should examine your relationship.

TheHaight's avatar

she’s been saying a version of that since you’ve been together? How much more can you handle? Kevbo- It seems like you are being really sweet to her by pulling together thoughtful presents, so hopefully she’s really appreciating it!!

wildflower's avatar

If this is just a temporary thing, try just keeping your head down…..maybe start planning something in the future that you can look forward to (a project, a holiday…). Once the dust settles on her panic-attack, let her know – in a non-accusing way – that this wasn’t easy for you.
If it’s more of an on-going thing…...then, what Allie and TheHaight said.

judochop's avatar

I say get a bite plate, swallow your pride as you are doing and keep your head up. Sounds to me like a pretty normal thing you are going through. Stop by
here and vent.

robmandu's avatar

Sometimes, the rant itself is the answer.

You know what’s right. And you’re doing it. Don’t worry, as you know, something good will come up soon and that’ll make you look back and wonder why you felt like this now.

And brother, we all hope the best for you and yours!

kevbo's avatar

I guess it is always darkest before the dawn, because she’s back to her usual self today. Thank you all for your insight and responses.

wildflower's avatar

Glad to hear it :)
Nothing like a storm to make you appreciate the calm…

nikipedia's avatar

Maybe if you were more genuine when you initiated relationships you would date people you actually like. Sorry for the snark but this seems to be a direct result of your dating strategy. I really do think you seem like a wonderful and thoughtful guy so I wish I was smooth enough to say this more nicely.

kevbo's avatar

Touché.

scamp's avatar

It’s hard on a woman to turn 50. She realizes that more than half her life has passed,
and she is at the beginning of a whole new stage in her life. She is mourning the passing of her youth, and telling her she is still young and vibrant sends her the message that you are belittling her feelings about this. Be patient with her. This will pass in time.

How old are you kevbo? I remember seeing somewhere that she is older than you, but I can’t remember how much. Is the age difference as much of a problem for you as it seems to be for her? I can imgine someone as compassionate as yourself becoming upset after being told you don’t understand. You must have felt very shut out by that. After the dust settles from this birthday, maybe the two of you should talk about where you want this to go. If this is the only problem in your relationship, you can have a talk and salvage things.

Good Luck!

Kay's avatar

When women are venting we usually want someone to not necessarily try to fix the problem or complement us, but to agree that whatever we are venting about is “difficult/sucks/must be hard to deal with.” So the next time she starts complaining or venting to you about her frustrations, try saying something like “Wow, that must be hard to deal with, do you want to talk about it?” and just try to sympathize with her. I know it’s hard to do this (I have problems with it myself sometimes and I feel like I’m super-empathetic) but sometimes women just want to vent to someone and just have them listen and not try to “fix” the problem. Good luck!!

susanc's avatar

kevbo

our great wonderful jellyfriend
so smart to ask Us.

robmandu scores (above).

let us know, let us know.

nocountry2's avatar

Man, how long have you been together? If this has been going on for a long time and you haven’t said anything about it, don’t say anything this week but better bring it up soon – I mean, everyone feels bad from time to time about their looks and getting older, and feeling like no one else in the world can possibly understand or relate is part of life. We all have pity parties (probably 50 is a big one). But if the lady does some version of this all the time you have been dating, it seems like by biting your tongue you’re providing more of a crutch disservice rather than an honest, loving, and concerned opinion about the sources of her self-esteem – maybe it’s time to give her some space. Or a nice gift certificate to a beauty spa, with a looooong massage.

kevbo's avatar

Interesting how you all picked up a detail I often overlook. I’m so used to it, I don’t give it much thought. She’s a beautiful woman with lower self esteem and a distorted body image, much of which I attribute to her upbringing. She has the biggest heart though and her graciousness and ability to make all sorts of people feel good about themselves has impressed me from day 1.
I don’t bite my tongue, by the way. It’s been a running, spirited argument, actually. But, it usually doesn’t matter what I say. She hasn’t changed her spots on that front.

We’ll have hit three years in May, which is a record for me, and it has been certainly a romantic and wonderful ride. Both of us, though, talk lately about whether keeping it going is the sensible thing. (The love is there, but we have recently verbalized that we have many opposite complementary qualities.) Her small-town friends generally bore me to death, which was part of the equation the other night.
@kay, you’re absolutely right, and it is one of the hardest things for a guy me to remember in the heat of the moment. So counterintuitive.

@scamp, she’s 50 (of course). I’m a month shy of 35.

The amusing thing is that she woke up on her birthday about as happy as one could be, put on a pretty dress and heels, and proceeded to have a great time as we spent the day shoe shopping, visiting her family, and doing some al fresco dining on a beautiful day. Yesterday was good (she spent the evening with a friend), and today we hosted a great party with my family. (Her’s was Tues.) So it’s not all fixed, but it is all better.

Well, hopefully that wasn’t TMI. Seems like you all were interested in detail, which I’m happy to divulge. I needed to vent for sure, but you all have given me food for thought.

Thanks.

scamp's avatar

Both of us, though, talk lately about whether keeping it going is the sensible thing. (The love is there, but we have recently verbalized that we have many opposite complementary qualities.) Her small-town friends generally bore me to death, which was part of the equation the other night

I don’t mean to pry too much into your personal affairs, but it kind of sounds like there are some other issues the two of you are dealing with, and this one was/is the tip of the iceberg. I think you were subjected to a little hen-fest with her and her friend, and she probably should have saved her venting for another time. Women like to confide their troubles to each other, and usually just being able to say out loud what is bothering them is enough. But throw a man into the mix, and you have a guy feeling left out, ignored and belittled. She really should save that for her alone time with her friends.

I hope you are able to resolve things together. Three years is a long time to throw away. Have the two of you ever considered couples counseling?

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