LIFE IS FULL OF LONELINESS, MISERY AND SUFFERING
Some men give up on relationships and decide they would be better off on their own.
Man is a social animal. Human beings generally prefer to live in a community. Our lives depend on other humans. Our connections to others is the key to our survival, success, and happiness. Any man who is unsocial is either beneath our notice or more than human. Hard experience teaches us that women are by nature far more social than men. The same hard experience teaches us that women have a more complex and deeper set of emotions than do men, but that men find difficulty in coping with any emotions whatsoever. The things others do can change the way we feel, think and act. Most people don’t like to be alone, and the presence of specific others can give us great pleasure. Love and sex is mostly better when there is a man and a woman involved.
What all this means is that our happiness may appear to depend on other human beings.
Putting one’s happiness in the hands of another is a guaranteed road to unhappiness. Yet this is a mistake most of us make, most of the time. Even the English language conspires to make certain most of us rely on others to validate our feelings; ‘You made me unhappy…’ how often have you heard something like that? How unfair is that? Making someone else responsible for your feelings puts everyone in an impossible situation. Half of the time I don’t even know what I feel, let alone the proximate cause of those feelings. Most psychologists will tell you that we are each responsible for our own feelings, and practical experience tells me that as soon as I rely on the actions or assumed feelings of someone else to create my feelings, then it’s one short step to deep unhappiness.
Why then is this unstable dichotomy such a universal model, particularly in romantic relationships?
Partly it’s learned behaviour, and by learned I mean it begins in infancy. Just about the worst thing that can happen to an infant is being abandoned by its mother. Generally that results in the death of the infant, unless a surrogate mother is immediately available and willing to take on the baby. Probably from the moment of birth, (perhaps before that even), an infant has a healthy fear of being alone. For an infant; Being Alone = Being Dead
A morbid fear of being alone is either called Autophobia or Monophobia, depending upon the exact flavour of the fear. This kind of distress can be characterised as a fear of being lonely, and then by a fear of being without a specific person. Sounds as though all romantic relationships have a little of that going on.
As adults, we are each in control of our own lives. Many find that a scary situation. Almost all of us have been raised in a group, with all the complexities of group dynamics imprinted onto our psyche from an early age. If we have been lucky we will have been raised in a stable, two-parent, family, with siblings. The snag is that this teaches us all about worry and guilt. Guilt in this case meaning that universal currency in interpersonal relationships; ‘You did something I don’t like, therefore I will not love you, unless you do something extra for me to make up for your mistake…’
Supposedly guilt is different from remorse, but most dictionaries include the one word in their definition of the other. Both guilt and remorse are about the past. The Past is Past and Gone, there is nothing anyone can do about it. so, unless you have genuinely done something wrong, are honestly sorry about that, and intend to change your behaviour in the future, guilt is mostly pointless.
Worry is generally about being afraid of doing something / not doing something, the net result of which is that people we consider important to our happiness will not love us as much as we want them to. Going further than that, worry is about the fear that people in whom we have placed responsibility for our happiness will ultimately abandon us. Nothing is forever. Change is the natural order of things. Worrying is very pointless.
Some say that worrying is what stops bad things from happening ~ that if bankers had worried a bit more about sub-prime mortgages we wouldn’t have had a financial crash. Or, that if Lana Del Rey worried a bit more about her reputation she wouldn’t have recorded a song called Fucked My Way Up To The Top.
As it goes this is all rubbish. Worrying achieves nothing. If we want the present and future to be different to the way they are likely to be, then we need to make a plan and solve the problem. Wishing does not make it so. Dread does nothing to stop bad things from happening. Fear of change is usually worse than change itself. Unrequited love is a problem to be solved, not something you need to live with.
In most societies the stable interpersonal relationship is between one man and one woman. Sometimes this relationship is formalised as marriage, and it is to be assumed that no two people get married with the intention of making the both of them miserable. Yet this is what happens, often people get so unhappy with one-another that the marriage ends in divorce. With divorce goes blame, which mostly consists of accusing the other person of not doing enough to make you happy. Putting the responsibility for your happiness in the hand of another is like trusting politicians ~ eventually you will be disappointed.
Stress is necessary for survival. Without some stress the mind and body will die. Sensory Deprivation is a form of torture. Too much of the wrong sort of stress will make you very ill. Having responsibility without power is extremely stressful. You have to feel your feelings, you are responsible for feeling your own feelings. If you put your happiness into the hand of another then you have given up your power to change your feelings. You will be unhappy, stressed, get drunk, feel ill, attempt suicide…, All the crap that goes along with bad romantic relationships.
Assume responsibility for your own feelings. Your worth as a human being is not measured by what others think about you. You are not responsible for the happiness of others, and they are not responsible for your happiness. Men should not rely on a woman / women for their happiness. Women are unreliable by their very nature, they can’t help it. Women do things to make men deeply unhappy without even realising they are doing it. Wives and girlfriends are not just readily available sex, they are complex and unpredictable creatures almost designed to create feelings in men, and men have difficulty dealing with feelings. Do not make her responsible for your happiness, unless you want to be unhappy for the majority of the time.