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Old October 13 2012, 06:04 AM   #1
Ood Sigma
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In search of someone to listen...

I've been struggling with several problems in my life and this week things got worse. The problem is that I have no one to turn to, to just talk about, discuss these issues with, so I feel like they're just piling up inside. I'm normally a pretty stoic guy but even I'm starting to feel the weight of these problems. I guess I'm looking for some advice on how I can alleviate this pressure... I just need someone to listen.

First of let me say that I'm, well, I am being intentionally vague, but not because I want to confuse anyone or be evasive. To tell the complete story of these issues would require a VERY long time and very few people want to read all that. While I do want to "tell my story" it'd make most sense in a back-and-forth conversation, rather than a wall of text.

There's really no one in my life I can talk frankly about these issues with. The issues concern the people who are closest to me, so I can't have this nature of conversation with them, because they're involved. (I don't mean to say that I won't talk with them about it, but part of what I want to talk about is how to approach them to resolve the issues.) I'm afraid the rest of my family would disown me (maybe not literally) if they knew. Most of my friends are also co-workers and while they may not judge me as harshly, it would be awkward to continue working with them, which I most definitely want/need to do. I just don't know any other friends who might be sympathetic.

So that's why I'm here. This is pretty much the only online community I'm a part of (even if I post relatively infrequently, I'm here almost daily and I know there's a lot of great people). I'm looking for advice on ways to reach out to the sorts of people who will listen, have an open mind, and not judge. Or to give advice on other ways I can work through my problems. Whether that is another online site or... something else I'm not even thinking of.

Last word, if this is inappropriate, or just weird, feel free to close this thread, mock me, or whatever. I won't take offense. I'll also be happy to clarify anything, but I'm not looking to air my dirty laundry in this thread.
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Old October 13 2012, 06:39 AM   #2
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

If you don't want to air dirty laundry in public, then perhaps you would be better off looking for a therapist, counselor or someone in that vein. I think it sounds like that's the only situation in which you might feel free to get everything off your chest.

Not knowing any further details, that is the only advice I can give.
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Old October 13 2012, 07:18 AM   #3
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Without knowing what the problem is, it's kind of hard to know how to help. But I hope you find someone who you feel you can talk to.

Maybe you can find help with it in one of the many subforums here...http://www.psychforums.com/forum.html ?
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Old October 13 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Lots of people here are happy to help their fellow posters as much as possible, but we just need to have more information about what's going on.
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Old October 13 2012, 11:52 AM   #5
Deranged Nasat
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

BlOod Sigma wrote: View Post
There's really no one in my life I can talk frankly about these issues with. The issues concern the people who are closest to me, so I can't have this nature of conversation with them, because they're involved. (I don't mean to say that I won't talk with them about it, but part of what I want to talk about is how to approach them to resolve the issues.) I'm afraid the rest of my family would disown me (maybe not literally) if they knew. Most of my friends are also co-workers and while they may not judge me as harshly, it would be awkward to continue working with them, which I most definitely want/need to do. I just don't know any other friends who might be sympathetic.
I know this feeling, Ood. The loneliness that comes with being unable to frankly speak yourself is a serious burden. Finding sympathy for the basic situation you find yourself in - being troubled, etc - is easy, but actually unburdening yourself in full requires a carefully-selected audience. Friends might be all around you, but I understand there might be a reluctance to threaten the comfort of those relationships through sharing too much, especially if you don't know how positively it would be received. It's good that you want to find solutions, though - keeping things bottled up isn't healthy. Have you considered looking online for forums that might relate to whatever issues are bothering you? There might well be discussions among people with related concerns, advice or support perhaps. And that will be impersonal enough that you wouldn't feel that you were threatening anything?
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Old October 13 2012, 01:05 PM   #6
Ood Sigma
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Yes, I was thinking along the lines of some sort of online forum. I will check out the link that Tosk provided to see if that's what I'm looking for.

Thanks for your sympathy, Deranged Nasat. "A carefully-selected audience" says it better than I ever could.

A licensed therapist / counselor sounds like a good idea, but there are issues with that, such as money, the fact that it would be difficult for it to remain a secret if I wanted it to (insurance/paperwork/etc.) But the thing that really makes me shy away from that is that I have a belief that they are trained to believe that certain behaviors are Wrong And The Cause Of All Your Problems (TM) and so I am afraid they would center in on certain aspects of my life and disregard the rest.

I was far too vague in my initial post. I figured if I got started in on describing the problem, I wouldn't be able to stop. So here is a brief summary of the issue, with the caveat that there are many, many details that I am not including. I have posted this before so it's no secret that I am currently part of a polyamorous relationship. The relationship started 17 years ago, the poly part about 4.5 years ago. I am truly only interested in one woman (my wife). Internally, I am strongly wanting to return back to a monogamous relationship. However this week I am getting the inclination that she is considering beginning a relationship with a third person. I am trying to determine what to do about this.

Hopefully that is enough of a summary where everyone can see how difficult it would be to talk to family/friends/professionals, especially those who do not know and would not be sympathetic to the whole poly thing. Because I believe most people's reaction would be poly => ick => get out. And while I acknowledge that that is a valid outcome, I don't want that insta-reaction.
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Old October 13 2012, 02:34 PM   #7
Tora Ziyal
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

^A good professional will not be judgmental. It may take more than one try to find one who's the right fit, but it would be worth it.
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Old October 13 2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

BlOod Sigma wrote: View Post
I am getting the inclination that she is considering beginning a relationship with a third person. I am trying to determine what to do about this.
Why not talk to her about it?
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Old October 13 2012, 03:17 PM   #9
Robert Maxwell
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

BlOod Sigma wrote: View Post
I was far too vague in my initial post. I figured if I got started in on describing the problem, I wouldn't be able to stop. So here is a brief summary of the issue, with the caveat that there are many, many details that I am not including. I have posted this before so it's no secret that I am currently part of a polyamorous relationship. The relationship started 17 years ago, the poly part about 4.5 years ago. I am truly only interested in one woman (my wife). Internally, I am strongly wanting to return back to a monogamous relationship. However this week I am getting the inclination that she is considering beginning a relationship with a third person. I am trying to determine what to do about this.
Yeah, I remember you talking about this before.

There is nothing wrong with being poly and I would never judge someone for that (being poly myself, plus just not being into judging people for their life choices in the first place), but if you want to be monogamous and she doesn't, that's a serious problem. You have to talk to her about it. Not talking about it is making you miserable. I realize you've been together a long time, but do you want to spend the rest of your life being unhappy with her?

And you might think you can't find anyone else, but that's not true. If things just can't work out with her, move on. You will grieve, you will probably be unhappy for a while, but it will get better and you will be able to find someone new.

You don't have to stay in a relationship that you are unhappy with. Ultimately, this is something you have to work out with her. The longer you wait, the harder it will be, and the more you will be hurt. If she can tell you're unhappy, what's to stop her from just leaving you one day? If you let things fester, that's a very strong possibility. Keeping quiet is only going to make things worse.

Now, if you do want to save your relationship, then some kind of couples' therapy may be in order, because it sounds like you have a lot to work out. But you really need to do something, because the situation now is not tenable.
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Old October 13 2012, 05:33 PM   #10
Ood Sigma
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

I know I will need to talk to her about it. I'm... not a very good communicator, so I'm terrified I'll do it wrong. Add that to the fact that she has a quick temper (although to be fair she also doesn't hold a grudge and forgives just as quickly), and I'm petrified to bring it up. I do want to save the relationship. And it's not just that, it's my whole life. House, pets, finances, etc. I find that I will tolerate a lot just to maintain the status quo. Most days I can just let work, fun, etc. sit on top of these negative feelings. I may be unhappy at times, but who isn't? Other people stress about their job, finances, etc. and I am fortunate that I don't about those things. This is just my thing that I have to deal with. It's the dealing with something new that is bringing everything back up to the surface.
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Old October 13 2012, 05:42 PM   #11
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

BlOod Sigma wrote: View Post
I find that I will tolerate a lot just to maintain the status quo.
No one should be forced to tolerate things they clearly don't want or can't handle, just to maintain a relationship.

I may be unhappy at times, but who isn't?
Not like this. Most people do have to deal with unhappiness about certain things, and there is a normal degree of that, but not like this. This is not normal.
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Old October 13 2012, 06:46 PM   #12
Deranged Nasat
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Mr Laser Beam is right, Ood. The degree of unhappiness you seem to be experiencing here isn't normal or healthy, as far as I can tell. Naturally I can't truly know your state of mind, but if it's bothering you this much I think you need to change something, achieve some resolution - both for your own sake and for that of the other people involved. I understand entirely the desire not to blow things out of proportion, and the value of keeping your problems in perspective - I admire that - but, (and this is coming from someone who himself spends far too much time putting his desire for peace ahead of his health, going along with the status quo because he's afraid of causing hurt or provoking censure), you also need to keep your own emotional health in mind. Denying your own discomfort or pain out of a sense of humility or honour is sometimes just as dangerous as losing perspective; don't lose sight of yourself because you're overly concerned with what others will think of you, my friend.
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Old October 13 2012, 07:10 PM   #13
Ood Sigma
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Hey guys, as I stated in my original post, I didn't want the thread to turn into a semi-public back-and-forth, but I did want to give a basic overview so people would know the nature of the problem. I'd rather keep the details in PM, so if you want to reply to me there, that's fine. If you post in the thread, I may reply that way. In any case, please don't feel obligated to reply; I won't take offense if you don't.
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Old October 13 2012, 10:12 PM   #14
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Well, I'll say it in this thread: I'd be happy to talk to you about this issue (in PM or wherever). Let's just say I rather understand, and furthermore understand the feeling of not being able to reach out to those around you/traditional therapy regarding the issues.
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Old October 13 2012, 11:32 PM   #15
Ood Sigma
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Re: In search of someone to listen...

Grey, it seems you don't have access to PMs yet. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about not being able to reach out. Discussions like those are what I was hoping to hear about. I just didn't want the thread to get bogged down with my specific personal situation.
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