October 15, 2001
I'm from Melbourne, Australia, and am writing in response to J's
story, A Guy's Love Addiction.
I got into a really messy online relationship at the end of 1998,
which ran until the beginning of this year. I know the attitude of
most people will probably be that exclusively online relationships
can't happen, but unfortunately they can...
I don't really need to relive the ins and outs of what happened
*exactly* since I've decided that I'm moving on in life, but I
will say a few things.
The woman in question, Nina, eventually got involved with a local
man in America 12 months into our online entanglement. Every couple of
months she would go and stay with him for a few weeks, and be
extremely cold towards me, not only in any email she sent while she
was with him, but for about another two weeks after she got back. She
didn't have that much to do with me as long as her new boyfriend,
Donny, was around. She didn't feel the need to communicate with me
when she wasn't alone. I want to emphasize here that I wasn't
completely innocent. I treated her very badly at times in terms of
what I said to her. My guilt over that is part of why it was so hard
to let her go. Good point, but I think your
guilt would have been more appropriate had it been directed towards
what you were allowing yourSelf to tolerate!
I found this site with a keyword search on Yahoo for Shakespeare's
quote, "To thine own self be true." I was looking for that for Nina.
Before what happened between us, she had had at least 20 relationships
that I knew of (she is 39; I am 24), including often just sexual
liaisons with married as well as single men.
Anyway, the thing with Donny: she is now selling out in exactly the
same way that your site describes. Like you had
too, though I know you know that now. He is an uncharismatic
individual, basically devoid of personality. She is attempting to
force her personality to mirror his as you've described some
codependent people doing. She has often expressed uncertainty about
him, including uncertainty over whether he loves her, or indeed is
capable of love. But she also continues to reassure herself for the
most part that everything is fine. The reason she does that is because
materially speaking, Dan is a great provider. The only real problem
with him is that he is an extremely conservative, materialistic, and
utterly pedestrian bore, who is totally incompatible with her
more spirited personality. But given his stability and his ability to
provide for her materially, she chooses to remain with him.. She has
had so many bad relationships in the past that although desperate not
to be alone, she doesn't want to have to bother actively looking for
I have accepted that her desire to remain with him is her business
and am in the process of moving on, which brings me to my main point:
This past year has been the worst of my life. I have been on
antidepressants, habitual alcohol, have been bedridden with
depression, and have contemplated suicide at times, all because of my
reaction to Nell moving in with Donny. Due to many childhood
problems with my mother, and previous bad experiences with women, I
even went through a period where I considered the possibility of
homosexuality. That wouldn't have fixed
anything. You'd just end up in the same mess with a guy.
The one thing I do know though is that after 6-7 years of living in
almost total seclusion, trying to live a life without pain, as J puts
it, simply is not possible. Nope. Not
possible. But, while pain is inevitable, suffering is entirely
optional... You get into a situation where you merely exist,
as opposed to living. In the end drugs don't take the pain away; all
they do is remove your motivation, making it even easier to see life
as pointless and wondering why not commit suicide.
What I'm learning now is that life - real life - contains pain by
definition. Yes! It's par for the course,
and if you want to avoid it, your only real option is to die, since
the only time the pain stops is when you are carried out in a box.
How do you know?
Yes, there are a lot of extremely disturbed, damaged, and most of
all terminally superficial women out there.
"Terminally superficial!" Great phrase! I won't argue
with anyone who says that. I also believe however that a minority of
sane ones do exist, and I am determined to find one of them at some
point. The main thing however is that I need to spend a large amount
of time first clearing out old psychological baggage and making as
sure as possible that I will be psychologically ready for a positive,
healthy relationship when it arrives. Yes. More
important, as you learn to cope with life's pain, you become healthier
and thus attract healthier women.
My father also has lived in a codependent relationship for 35 years
now, and I believe is destined to die a poor, miserable, and utterly
dispirited individual. The bottom line is that if anyone, man or
woman, is living in a painful relationship, don't, whatever you do,
ignore your heart's message! Yes!
Get out of that relationship and go and find someone who deserves
you, and whom you deserve Because there are decent people out there!
We just need to find each other. Yes! And
you can bet the going will be rough. But, the more you cope, the
easier it gets, the healthier you get.
I'm going to attach a board and email this
page to J to take a look. Last I heard, things were not OK with
him. Maybe you guys (and others) want to chat and help each other. I'm
glad you are learning not to sell the Self out. Good luck to you
Ps: You may want to check out our "regular"
boards too. Lots of good posting going on there: