Topics: Stories from Slate - Slate Magazine

One of my recurring themes is how false Societal Programming continually damages your life by filling your subconscious mind with a constant array of sweet.

My good man, you took the words right out of my mouth. I am 42 years old, I have never married, and had not had a girl friend since I was 18 years of age, I thought I was the only one out there in this situation. I see I am not alone.

I am so sorry to hear of this terrible situation. I can hardly imagine how painful this all must be for you. Based on what you have shared here, I believe that the holiday issue is really a symptom of the larger relationship problem you seem to have. I'm not a professional therapist but I invite you to consider the purpose of having a relationship in the first place. In addition to sharing the costs of living and having someone to talk to (and there's the sex), the real value in being close to someone is the idea that you really care about each other. Otherwise it becomes just a commercial transaction on some level. You say "I feel like my thoughts and feelings do not matter to her", this is telling me that you are not currently getting this essential ingredient in your relationship. I submit to you that if you cannot be honest with her and share your feelings without her criticizing, belittling or threatening you, there is precious little of a 'relationship' to work with. I suspect you know this already. Allow me to share something from a writer and philosopher Stefan Molyneux from his book Real-Time Relationships: The Logic of Love; "It scarcely seems required, but it is worth noting that love must be considered a pleasurable experience. This does not mean that love always entails pleasure – any more than physical health means never experiencing any pain at all – but it must be a positive experience in general. In other words, the positive aspects of “love” must vastly outweigh the negative aspects, just as the positive aspects of “health” must vastly outweigh the negative aspects, such as eating well and exercising. A decent rule of thumb is to expect a positive relationship to be composed of 9/10 good things, to 1/10 bad things." Yes, you have the right to want to spend one holiday with your partner and your kids. No, you should not be guilted into spending your holiday with people that have treated you like sh*t and with whom you are not particularly comfortable with. The issue, since you have asked for advice, is not her in-laws but the fact that you have allowed yourself to be "treated like crap". It's obvious where your partner learned this behaviour, and if you are still having these serious issues after five years, it may be time to seek out some help in the form of counseling or the like. " To take pleasure in the pleasure of another human being is foundational to a loving relationship" Every human being deserves to be cared for and your caring for your family and the treatment you are getting breaks my heart. I, myself was in a similar relationship until I realized with some help, the principles I am now sharing with you. There is an empathetic community at Stefan's website, http://www.freedomainradio.com including free copies of his books (including the one I quoted above) Please visit if you can and I wish for you the happy life you really want.

“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one.

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One of my recurring themes is how false Societal Programming continually damages your life by filling your subconscious mind with a constant array of sweet.