SHE HUNG UP ON ME! Freedomain Call In - Transcript


0:00 - Complexities of Relationships
9:22 - Reflections on Parents' Relationship
18:04 - Dynamics of Constant Bickering
23:47 - Charm vs. Hostility: Father's Persona
27:50 - Unraveling Manipulation and Deception
45:38 - The Impact of Childhood Memories
1:01:22 - Frustration and Reflection on Parental Support
1:06:58 - Confronting Parents with Truth and Setting Boundaries
1:21:32 - The Painful Choice of Self-Protection
1:36:50 - The Unspoken Understanding
1:51:35 - Struggles with Manual Labor and Law School
1:57:56 - Legal Battles and Career Choices
2:11:14 - Proposal and Logistical Nightmares
2:16:54 - The Impact of Childhood Trauma
2:23:19 - Questionable Beginnings and Trust Issues
2:25:35 - The Desire for Protection and Boundaries
2:30:58 - The Decision to Settle Down
2:33:44 - Reclaiming Authority and Building Roots

Long Summary

The caller opens up about her uncertainties regarding her relationship and desire for children as she approaches her thirties. She expresses doubts about her partner's maturity and finds herself questioning her own choices. Delving into her upbringing, she reveals feeling neglected by her immigrant parents, who were engulfed in a tumultuous relationship. Discovering she has half-siblings adds complexity to her family history, as she recalls her father's work-related absence, arguments with her mother, and his public versus private personas. The caller's childhood experiences of constant parental conflict without discipline shaped her views on relationships and shaped her fear of repeating the cycle of dysfunction.

Reflecting on her parents' troubled relationship, the caller confronts her fear of replicating their patterns. She delves into the dominance and conflict within her parents' marriage, acknowledging deep feelings of betrayal and the challenge of moving past them. The discussion uncovers the root causes of her parents' ongoing strife, portraying a cycle of conflict as a distraction from their inner emptiness and anxiety. Recalling a poignant childhood memory of her father threatening to leave, the caller discusses the emotional fallout from witnessing parental discord and yearning for understanding and connection from her parents, despite their shortcomings.

In a candid exchange with Stefan, the caller navigates issues of honesty, boundaries, and parental relationships. Stefan challenges her enabling behavior in toxic relationships and urges her to prioritize self-respect over obligation. They explore the caller's struggles with setting boundaries with her parents and the impact of past neglect on her present interactions. Stefan emphasizes the importance of asserting boundaries for personal growth, pushing the caller to break free from toxic patterns. The conversation dives into familial complexities and the necessity of advocating for one's needs to foster well-being.

The caller shares her relationship journey with her boyfriend, transitioning from a teenage romance to a long-distance commitment spanning Greece and France. Overcoming language barriers, they navigated challenges and considered marriage while grappling with career uncertainties. The caller's contemplation of changing fields and returning to school indicates a shift in priorities, considering her distaste for settling in her partner's country. Discussions on bureaucracy, decision-making dynamics, and trust in relationships shed light on the caller's upbringing and its influence on her approach to decision-making within her partnership.

As Stefan and the caller explore her relationship dynamics with both her boyfriend and parents, the importance of trust and boundaries surfaces. Stefan advises her to scrutinize the foundation of her relationship, emphasizing open communication and trust. Navigating the prospect of relocating to another country, Stefan advocates for meticulous planning and transparent conversations about roles and responsibilities. Addressing trust, submission, and authority issues within love, Stefan encourages the caller to address underlying concerns for a healthy relationship. Prioritizing introspection and communication, the conversation concludes with a reminder to nurture openness and trust in her journey towards a fulfilling partnership.


[0:00] Complexities of Relationships

[0:00] I don't, I just don't know where to start because it's kind of complicated and, because I don't really know exactly my aim with this call, but I'm going to try my best. Um, no, so I, I want children, right. I'm nearing my thirties, but I am not too sure that, um.

[0:31] My partner is mature enough if you know what I'm saying um but I'm also second guessing myself um I'm not really sure of my own conclusions I'm not really sure if like for example I don't communicate clear enough or i'm just you know, sorry for cursing i'm just, immature myself you know um, or if i'm just maybe, you know staring staring myself staring at this particular problem that won't really matter anyway um maybe or maybe i just have expectations that i shouldn't have you know that sort of thing um, Yeah.

[1:34] So you might be a tiny bit of an overthinker, have you ever noticed that? Or is that something fair to say?

[1:42] Yeah, but I have people telling me that.

[1:44] Yeah, that's okay. Well, tell me a little bit about your childhood or a lot, your 20s. And where are you in your 30s, like early, mid, late?

[1:55] Oh, no, I'm going to turn 30.

[1:57] Oh, going to turn 30. Okay, got it, got it. Yeah, yeah. So tell me a little bit about your life so far.

[2:03] Yeah sure uh so life has been a bit um just these recent past years i've actually started to figure out what i want to do like career-wise um and long-term goals and things like that i have lived abroad uh tried it out didn't like it i've been trying different jobs like none of them um now i found something um that i like um i'm not gonna say what i'm studying because i don't want to give it away but some kind of it um and it's i'm at a period of my life where i'm just like okay i've had enough with the experimenting um but you know when i say experimenting i know what everyone's thinking but I've had a 13 year long relationship so it's not that kind of thing with dating different people and stuff like that it's just I've just tried different career options um try to also repair a lot of trauma that I've had since my childhood I've gone to therapy I've figured out what's important to me things like that um and yeah my childhood um I'm born from two immigrant parents.

[3:24] And I would say it was pretty bad overall. But somewhere around, you know, my late teens, I just pretty much woke up one day and was like, no, I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life. I don't want to be an outcast. I don't want to be so freaking, you know, like, I want to not fit in, but I want to, you know, get to a better place than what I had before because I was I was bullied um by both you know adults and peers um and I have very few friends and I just I felt awkward in my own body I didn't know what to say I didn't I felt like my parents didn't really teach me anything you know no they, teach you some things but they never like for example oh yeah let's go and ride a bike or i'm going to teach you how to change a tire or i'm going to talk to you about important stuff, and they're just you weren't.

[4:37] Uh you weren't parented right i mean they didn't give you life advice and wisdom and how to deal with things and options and approaches to take and principles to live by and morals i mean you weren't.

[4:47] Parented is that right yeah there was some principles and morals uh but it wasn't it wasn't communicated to me in a way that i was supposed to comprehend it just kind of was there if you know what i mean it was very unplanned it was here's the thing okay like so.

[5:06] Love the chat i'm very happy that we're chatting but you know that this is a ramble of experiences and impressions and thoughts and associations i don't even know You don't know the facts yet, right? So when communicating, right? I mean, you got to start with the facts. So bullied, and you had two immigrant parents who didn't teach you much about life. But let's start a little bit more basic. So your parents, they were together, they were married, they're still together. Is that right?

[5:36] They divorced and got back together and lived together.

[5:40] Okay, so these are the kind of facts that I sort of need before we get all of the impressions and thoughts and associations. Okay.

[5:47] Yeah, yeah.

[5:47] So how old were you when they divorced?

[5:51] I don't think I was born yet.

[5:53] Oh, gosh.

[5:55] Yeah.

[5:57] Well, that's not good.

[5:59] No.

[6:00] Okay, so they divorced before you were born. Yeah. And do you know why they divorced? I mean, I guess they got back together, so they must have, I assume they said something about what happened.

[6:12] No. And when I asked them, they just say, oh, stop bothering us. That was so long ago. So I can't get it out of them. They just basically got together again.

[6:22] And how long were they apart?

[6:24] Gosh, I don't even know. They won't tell me.

[6:27] So they were back together again by the time you had memories. Is that right?

[6:33] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[6:33] Okay, so you don't remember the separation time?

[6:37] No, I have no idea. I had no idea this happened.

[6:40] Do you know if they moved apart?

[6:44] No, I mean, I think they did move apart for some time, but I haven't, you know how I found this out? I found it out through like a freaking document that my dad had laying around.

[6:57] Oh, gosh.

[6:59] Yeah.

[6:59] So were you born, you were born and your parents were split up and then at some point they got back together when you were quite young, right?

[7:06] No, I think that they just split up before and got back together and was like, let's have a child to glue this together.

[7:13] Oh, okay. So your mother was not pregnant with you when they split up. They split up, got back together, had you, and so they were together from you being pregnant and born onwards, right?

[7:24] Yeah.

[7:24] I think it like that. Yeah. And did your mother stay home with you?

[7:31] Um as much as she could but.

[7:34] What what does that mean was she kidnapped was she drafted abducted by space aliens what do you mean as much as she could.

[7:42] I don't i don't really know how it is like i mean i'm sure there were economical limitations and all that so.

[7:49] What do you mean what do you mean what do you mean what do you mean economic limitations you mean she she went to make she went to make money rather than raise you i'm not sure i still They'll don't know how long she was home with you, though.

[8:03] Do you mean like as an every day or like how many years to stay home with me?

[8:09] I'm not sure what the difference is. So she got pregnant. You were born. Did she, was she a stay-at-home mother? And if so, for how long?

[8:18] No, she wasn't.

[8:20] And do you know how old you were when she went to work?

[8:27] Um... I mean, quite young, like one year, maybe.

[8:33] Okay. And who took care of you when your mother went back to work?

[8:39] My grandma.

[8:42] Okay. And do you remember, I mean, I know one is pretty early to have memories, but did you get along with your grandmother? Was she good to you?

[8:50] Yeah, she was very nice.

[8:51] Okay.

[8:52] She was very agreeable, very like sort of nice, a little lady. Yeah, I loved her. She was a good influence.

[8:58] Okay.

[8:59] She wasn't around for too long though.

[9:01] Oh, what do you mean?

[9:04] Well, she died when I was eight.

[9:06] Oh, okay. And when your mother went back to work, what field did she work in?

[9:12] Healthcare.

[9:13] Like she was a nurse or something like that?

[9:16] Yeah, something like that.

[9:18] Okay.

[9:19] Yeah, taking care of everyone but me.

[9:22] Reflections on Parents' Relationship

[9:22] Right, right. Not uncommon. So your mom went back to work. I assume your dad worked full-time as well. Is that right?

[9:31] Yeah. And he went abroad quite a lot. So he was gone for like most of my early years, if that makes sense.

[9:38] And why would he be gone when you were young so much? It can't be for the job, right? I've been in jobs that involve travel. You can not travel a lot of times. You may not advance as much. You may not make as much money, but you usually have that choice. They don't sort of have a gun to your head and put you on a plane, right?

[9:57] No, I understand. It wasn't like he was gone months at a time it was just like the weekends here and there sometimes a week sometimes two weeks but see the thing is not i don't think it was really absence i think it was more like the fighting that they had because they would fight and bicker every single day several times a day.

[10:23] So they really disliked each other.

[10:26] Yes, you could definitely say that. And they still do. And I have no idea why they do.

[10:31] Why are you inviting me into this is funny with this hee hee laughter stuff? It's not funny. This is horrible to grow up in.

[10:37] Yeah, it is. It is fucking horrible.

[10:39] Yeah. It is. So, yeah. I mean, you know, everybody does this and I understand it. And I do it sometimes too. But yeah, when things are, as you say, fucking horrible, maybe let's not giggle about it. That's all, right? That's all. Because it's pretty bad, right?

[10:55] Yeah.

[10:56] And do you have siblings?

[10:58] No, none.

[11:00] Okay. So what would your parents fight about that you remember?

[11:07] Sorry, I have half siblings that I found out about when I was 14 years old.

[11:13] Tell me about that.

[11:16] It uh well we were in the car and i was going to my training and my dad sort of told me oh i was sitting in the back he was just sort of like oh uh by the way you have three half siblings i was like what and i think that's that's how you.

[11:31] Found out about it but how how did they come to be.

[11:37] He had a previous relationship with another woman for my mom.

[11:44] And I assume that she was pretty far away or he had no contact with his kids or was he going to visit his kids when he was supposed to be on business? Like what was going on?

[11:55] I don't know because I think that she was saying bad things about him and that he stopped seeing them for years. years um because my parents are quite old right so my half siblings are much older than me um, and i don't know i don't really know how much relationship they had with each other like before i got to know about them and then there was like some trials were trying to get me how to know them but you know at 14 it's kind of like too late it's kind of like well.

[12:30] You've got your own peers your own friends you're starting to become interested in boys like some older half siblings are not going to be super important to you right.

[12:36] No they were more like you know strangers really yeah it was weird so was he he.

[12:44] Had been out of touch with them for a while and then got back in touch with them and that's why he brought them up to you or why what changed that that you're into this now or you're supposed to be into this now.

[12:55] I'm not 100 sure but i i think that there was just some sort of, you know, previous history, maybe with embarrassment of some sort, maybe with some shame. I don't know, because everything is kind of like, you know, I can't have a direct conversation with my parents. It's always like, oh, no, let's not talk about it. Or like, why do you have to bring it up just now? And, you know, very much avoidance. um sorry i don't have i don't have better answers i no.

[13:34] That's fine and how were you disciplined if you were as a child when you would do things your parents didn't like.

[13:43] I wasn't i was just you know i was never hit um, They were just, you know, busy trying to win arguments with each other. It was as if I wasn't there.

[14:00] Gosh, I'm sorry about that. And it's not like you have a whole bunch of other siblings to deal with, right? It's parents are nothing, right?

[14:10] Yeah, pretty much like that. Wow. Yeah.

[14:14] All right.

[14:15] It was like... Sorry, it was weird. it was like they told me i meant everything to them but they never made any actions to prove that so it was just empty words really sure.

[14:30] Yeah yeah yeah yeah i got it and do what what sort of stuff would they fight was it money housework like what what was it that they would fight about you said they fight like a couple of times a day i mean what was what was going on.

[14:41] Oh it's always money or my mom trying to you know get my dad to do stuff, or you know she's kind of a nag or she's very much a nag if I can say so myself and my dad is kind of like, um what do you say emotional, uh kind of touchy-feely, kind of weak. Oh, sorry, that was my dog.

[15:27] Tell me what you mean about your dad.

[15:31] Well, I only got to know him, you know, when he started to come of age, like when he started to become, like, you know, over middle age. That's when I grew up with him. and he was kind of like he was super extrovert and was just like the kind of person that you know goes out and talks a little bit to everyone at every party and acts kind of, kind of funny but kind of nervous, but like when he's home he could be, extremely you know verbally abusive as if it was like his defense, so it was kind of like there was too much difference between what he acted like in public and what he acted like at home for me to really feel like i ever got to know him if that makes sense yeah.

[16:22] Yeah so what would he what would he say that would be so harsh at home.

[16:25] Uh it wasn't directed at me but honestly that doesn't really matter when you're a small child it was more like it was more you know oh gosh it was embarrassing stuff like he would say that he would say stuff to my mom like, oh i'm going to leave i'm going to leave tomorrow you're annoying you're getting to me, uh it was just i'm going to leave everything sucks boo-hoo pretty much.

[17:03] A boo-hoo i don't is that you mocking him or was that what his approach would be.

[17:09] No that's me mocking him okay.

[17:11] Sorry i just if if you're going to switch from him to you i'm i just want to make sure i follow so.

[17:15] He would say.

[17:16] I'm leaving it's over you're too annoying and so on right and what would the what's the boo-hoo part what would that be that you were characterizing.

[17:24] Because it's just like no i don't want to better myself i don't want i don't want to do more. I don't want to stop going on random trips. I don't want to start, putting more effort into all this having a child thing. I just want to do what I want, basically.

[17:46] What were the random trips? Was it business or personal?

[17:51] I think it was business because he had a business.

[17:54] Right, right. Okay. I assume that if he's not getting along with your mother, then business travel becomes pretty appealing, right?

[18:03] You guessed it.

[18:04] Yeah.

[18:04] Dynamics of Constant Bickering

[18:05] Okay.

[18:06] Been there. Been there. Okay. So, actually, here I am criticizing you for laughing, and I just gave you a giggle too. See? See? It's insidious. It's everywhere. All right.

[18:16] Human.

[18:17] Yeah, yeah. So... Did their relationship, they're together now, right?

[18:25] Yeah.

[18:26] And are they still fighting?

[18:29] Yeah.

[18:30] Oh, God, what a nightmare.

[18:32] No, I know, I know. I know. I just get, I just get like this big knot in my stomach whenever I think about it, you know? It's like, wow.

[18:42] What a waste of life, yeah.

[18:44] No, but I want to avoid this at all costs. Like, it's my worst nightmare, to be honest.

[18:49] And why do you think they have stayed together?

[18:57] Codependency, 100%.

[18:58] No, that's just a word. I mean, that doesn't explain much to me. What do you think is in their psyche or their histories that keeps them hanging on to such a pathetic situation?

[19:09] That's a very good question. I have no idea. If I could say something, it would probably be like, they're just kind of like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together you know my mom is very like, let's do things and he's very like, let's avoid, it's a hard question sorry avoid what he's kind of like no let's avoid structure sort of.

[19:48] I don't know what this means. Let's do things. Let's avoid structure. What does this mean? I don't know.

[19:54] He's just not a very, you know, he doesn't go from like plan to action to here. He's just kind of like.

[20:01] What do you mean he doesn't go? He could rent his own business. What do you mean? He doesn't go from plan to action.

[20:06] No, but he, it's not only, it wasn't only him. It was him and his friends. And I think he was just sort of like the idea maker, you know, the ADHD.

[20:15] I mean, he made a decent income, right?

[20:18] I mean, yeah.

[20:19] Okay, so he must have been doing something, right? This sounds like your mom's complaint.

[20:25] I mean, I have a lot of criticism towards her, too.

[20:30] No, I get that. But if your dad just can't execute and just daydreams or whatever it is, then he couldn't have made decent money in business. That's not how it works.

[20:39] Then he's avoiding. They're definitely both avoiders. And I'm so sorry. Sorry, I've thought about this before, and I can't bring myself to a conclusion. I don't know why they're together, honestly.

[20:52] Okay, avoiders? I'm not sure what that means.

[20:55] Well, they avoid parenting me. They avoid solving their own problems, like their communication problems. Whatever it is, that's just the root of why they're fighting.

[21:09] No, but they like it. No, isn't this what they prefer?

[21:13] Well, no.

[21:15] I mean, it's not a problem. It's now been lasting for over 30 years, right?

[21:21] Yeah, but how can you like this? Please explain to me.

[21:25] Oh, no, we can get to that if you want. Sure. It's not a problem if you've been doing it for 30 plus years. You may not want it, you may not like it, but it's not a problem for them. If it was a big enough problem for them, they would have solved it. But they like it.

[21:42] I mean, I guess. It has to lead me to that conclusion, though.

[21:47] Okay, so the anatomy of your parents' marriage is a mystery to you, right?

[21:53] Yeah, totally.

[21:54] So that's probably one of the reasons why it's tough for you to get married, because you don't even know what went wrong. I'm not saying you should, but if you don't know what's going on in your parents' marriage, then it's going to be pretty tough to avoid. And you're going to have this vague fear that it's just going to grow like a tumor in any potential marriage of yours.

[22:13] Us yeah that's spot on and that is why i suspected that deep down i wanted this call because i'm scared.

[22:19] No i get it i get it yeah okay so um yeah i mean if you if you don't know why you get a, sunburn then it's going to be pretty tough to plan your day right if you say oh well i'll put some sunscreen on or stay in the shade i'll be fine right so you don't know the cause and effect it gets you get kind of paranoid when we don't know cause and effect right yeah that's true okay i I guess if you.

[22:42] Want to help me, you know, figure that out, I would be most grateful.

[22:47] Right. Okay. So is it fair to say, and I sort of got this very strongly from your description of your father, and it's your father, of course, I'm just mentally meeting him for the first time, so correct me where I go astray, if you would, but your father is super friendly to outsiders and pretty mean and indifferent and hostile to people close to him, right?

[23:12] He's double with people close with him because on the other hand he says stuff like we gotta stick together and we gotta love each other and family is all that matters but I'm going to scream and insult your mom as if she was just some, idiot on the street you know well.

[23:30] No but he would never scream at an idiot on the street would he directly.

[23:34] Oh no.

[23:35] He's very polite like wait he's He's, all the waiters love him, you know, but his family is like, you hypocritical son of a gun. Like he's friendly, he's friendly to strangers. He's probably pretty friendly in business.

[23:47] Charm vs. Hostility: Father's Persona

[23:47] He's got a joke and a story and I don't know, I mean, I'm sort of clicheing him a bit, but people who are friendly and charismatic to those who are further away and then kind of mean and vicious to people who are closer to themselves is, it's a very interesting personality type.

[24:05] Yeah.

[24:06] People who are charming to strangers and cruel to those closest to them, kind of sociopathic in my obviously amateur description. A superficial charm with an interpersonal horror story is kind of one of the hallmarks of sociopathy, right?

[24:26] I don't know much about sociopathy, but I'm going to go with this. Yeah. Sounds reasonable.

[24:34] So, has he ever had, or can you think of times where you feel you have connected with the real person or a real soul, in a sense, with your father? Like a relaxed conversation where nothing's being manipulated, there's no distractions, it's just you connecting with your father in a relaxed way.

[25:05] There's glimpses of that when we talk, but we don't really talk anymore. Because I find that in between those moments, there's a lot of, what do you say, just hypocrisy. Like he's trying to tell me, be nice to people, families, everything, but he just doesn't live up to that. So I don't know who the hell I'm talking to. You know what I mean?

[25:32] Can you describe a time where you felt that kind of relaxed and close connection with him?

[25:46] I mean, it was so long ago. I just remember the feeling, not actually what was being said. I think it was when he was trying to tell me that, okay, there's certain things on TV that we shouldn't watch, and this is why. Like, for example, you know, what do you say, like soaps? What is it? Like drama shows? What is it? Like Big Brother and stuff.

[26:21] Oh, like reality television?

[26:23] Yeah, and he was like, we don't, we're not supposed to watch this because these are people you know pretending to be something they're not and you can't yeah i know okay.

[26:37] So that's that's manipulation so because he's just telling you don't examine shallow manipulative people otherwise the trail will lead directly to me so that's what what else what else have you got i'm.

[26:50] Sorry well you're you just hit it right on on the head there.

[26:53] That's kind of what i do so but yeah i mean so what else What else have you got with sort of relaxed, easy, connected chat?

[27:00] I think that's it. That's it.

[27:05] So nothing.

[27:06] No, I was just, you know.

[27:09] It'd be weird if there was something. Like there's usually either it's a lot or it's nothing.

[27:16] I changed my answer. It's nothing, actually.

[27:19] All right. So do you know why you've never connected with the real dad?

[27:27] Because he's not being himself? Ever?

[27:29] No, because there is no real dad. It's just smoke and mirrors. It's manipulation. Everything's calculated for a fact. There's no spontaneity. There's no particular inner life. He's just scanning for what he can manipulate in the environment to satisfy some immediate need.

[27:50] Unraveling Manipulation and Deception

[27:51] Holy God. Holy God. Uh, you know, in adulthood, this is sort of like what my intuition always told me, and that's why we don't talk.

[28:02] And when you say you don't talk, have you had a sort of formal break or is it kind of faded away or what's happening with that?

[28:08] I just avoid going to see them.

[28:12] And have you had, again, I don't know whether you should or shouldn't, but have you had a sort of direct conversation about the deficiencies that you experienced in your upbringing?

[28:21] Yeah a lot and it's all just deflected like no it wasn't that bad what are you saying or you know the point it's.

[28:31] So long ago get over it move on you're.

[28:33] Almost 30.

[28:34] All that nonsense right.

[28:35] And oh times were different and we did as best as we could and blah blah blah blah blah it's it's just you know i gave up a long time ago with that but it's still haunting me because i feel I feel hard done by, and I just can't get over myself in that aspect.

[28:54] You can't get over yourself? No, I can't. You have a lot of descriptive language that I don't know what it means. What does it mean to get over yourself?

[29:02] It means that I often think about how freaking unfair it was, and how much it hurt me, and how I was wronged. but it's just feelings i've been trying for years to just you know get to the bottom with it just like we are getting to the bottom with it right now but in my own head and in therapy and i just it's just you know it's just a feeling it's just this the stuff they've planted in me, that i'm trying to scan for i'm so freaking scared of ending up with a partner that is like my dad right yeah well i mean it.

[29:50] Sounds like i'm so sorry go ahead i didn't mean to interrupt sorry.

[29:53] No no sorry i was done it's just this this fear it's like this unlabeled fear.

[30:01] Well, I mean, if you might trip and fall into hell, you're going to watch pretty closely where you stepped, right? Because if you end up in this situation, life would probably not be worth living for you, right?

[30:15] Yeah, when you put it like that.

[30:17] Okay, so. The question is, what do you think drew your parents together? What brought them to each other? Was it looks? Was it status? Was it money? Obviously, it wasn't deep connection and virtue and morals and honesty and integrity and courage. It wasn't any of the virtues. So what was it that caused you to be? What is it that brought your parents together?

[30:50] I think my mom saw my dad and was like, oh, look, that's the alpha at work. Let's go.

[30:57] Oh, they met at her work? yeah and he was a high status at her work and she pursued him for that right.

[31:07] Yeah he was kind of like the funny guy at work and that you know.

[31:14] It's funny and really tragic how many how many people like there's this old myth right of the sirens right and in ancient greece and the sirens were these women who sung this beautiful song that was so wonderful that you You would do anything to get there. You'd steer your ship towards it. You'd swim towards it. You'd do anything to get to the song. And then you just get the crap smashed out of you on the rocks and you die.

[31:41] Yeah.

[31:42] No, and it's funny because it's quite a common thing where I think maybe a little bit more women to male. But it's like, he's high status. He's attractive. He's funny. He's engaging. He's, everybody loves them. and you're like great i'll take that and then you get home and it's like he's a hollow automaton always constantly searching to belittle me for stupid victories that never lead anywhere where's all that charm why can't you be like the guy at the office or the hospital or it's it's wild and it's terrifying i think.

[32:17] Yeah it's really like a wolf in sheep's clothing i get.

[32:20] It right right so your mother was attracted to his was he good looking when he was younger too did he have all the trifecta like the looks the charm and the wit and.

[32:37] I don't think he was a particularly good-looking person, but not ugly either.

[32:44] Okay. So he has charm, and I assume you've seen that charm operating in various dimensions with people at parties or others and so on, right?

[32:55] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[32:57] Yeah, okay. So your mother fell in love with the charm, took it home and unwrapped it, and found a Tasmanian devil of endless verbal attack. Is that right?

[33:08] Pretty much but i have to say that he's not he's not a stereotypical aggressor it's more, it's more like her poking him all the time for reaction as well it's not him starting things you know oh.

[33:26] No it's mutual i assume it's mutual right.

[33:28] Yeah yeah yeah it's balanced otherwise.

[33:30] It couldn't have lasted this long right.

[33:31] Yeah yeah just wanted to clarify that yeah.

[33:34] Yeah no that's fair. So she needles him, he blows up. And then they reach some sort of detente and then there's dissatisfaction and needling, right?

[33:45] Yep.

[33:46] Right.

[33:47] Right.

[33:48] So I mean, I don't know if you want to explore the dynamics of why this happens, or if you wanted to move on to another topic.

[33:59] Um... Well... Give me a second or two to think about that, please.

[34:07] Sure, of course. Yeah, take your time.

[34:10] We can move on, I think. We can move on because, see, I just wanted, I think I mostly wanted to try and avoid falling into the same trap with my relationship, if you know what I mean.

[34:26] But what's the trap? That's the challenge, right?

[34:29] Yeah, exactly.

[34:31] Okay, I'll touch on it really briefly. If it's a value, we can talk about it more. If it's not, we'll move on. so in general these kinds of bicker fests that that go on for for decades are people who enjoy the act of domination but not consummation of that domination in other words they want to constantly be fighting and trying to dominate each other but there's never a final victory. And so it's, you know, like there's this argument for a lot of I think Julian Assange made this argument about war, that the war is not designed to be won. The war is designed to continue. So your parents are constantly trying to win with each other but they can't and they won't. So it's the striving for dominance over the other that is the mechanism of the relationship. Now, they can't ever win over each other because the purpose of the fight is to continue. And the fight comes out of frustration, maddening frustration, that if you're living with someone and you can't connect with them. So it's like being absolutely starving and the only thing that's around is plastic replicas of your favorite food.

[35:56] Right so so they live with each other and they they can't ever connect with each other so they're constantly smashing up each other out of incredible frustration but now they can't walk away either.

[36:11] That's the part I don't get.

[36:14] Well, because when you have been striving for dominance for so long, that's become your identity. Your identity is striving for dominance. Now, if you actually achieve dominance, let's say tomorrow, this may sound outlandish, but just go with me for a second. So let's say tomorrow, your mother wakes up, and Jesus himself comes down to her and says, says you are now to be, to save your soul, a goodly Christian traditional wife. You are no longer allowed to needle your husband and you have to submit to him in what he says. And let's say that she was like, absolutely, oh bearded one, I accept the perfection of your moral argument. I will now no longer needle my husband. I will no longer disagree with him and I will conform to what he wants. So what would happen to your parents' relationship if she stopped fighting him?

[37:26] I think it just wouldn't be fun anymore, so they would leave.

[37:33] Well, I would argue that your father would lose his identity.

[37:41] But you should see him today. He doesn't have one.

[37:45] Right. Well, that's because he's been striving to dominate someone for decades, and all he is now is striving to dominate. And she's striving to dominate him, So they're just picking at each other and that their identity is just striving for victory, but they can't ever achieve it because the whole point is the striving. And if they achieve it, they have nothing.

[38:07] Right. No, I understand.

[38:10] And if they leave, if they leave from picking at each other, from striving for dominance, they have nothing. And that's why, right, they broke up and then they felt incredibly depressed. And anxious and without an identity because they didn't have anyone to fight. And then they got back together and the unspoken agreement is our identity is to fight with each other. That's all we have. That's all we are. And so we're just going to make this deal under the table, which is we're going to support each other's fictitious identities by fighting and fighting and fighting. And we can't ever win because then if we win, we stop fighting. And so the deal is we maintain our fictional identities of combat by fighting and fighting and fighting, and we'll never stop. Because if we stop all the underlying anxiety, depression, whatever's going on down in the roots of things, the drug that we're going to use to distract ourselves is the minor adrenaline and cortisol of combat, of fighting.

[39:17] And that way we're distracted from the emptiness within. So it's a deal. It's a mutually beneficial deal. I mean, it's terrible for you. And of course, it's terrible for their souls in the long run. But that's the deal. I don't want to face my own anxiety and depression. So I'm going to fight with someone because that's going to give me some adrenaline, some cortisol, some excitement and distract me from the emptiness within.

[39:42] Yeah, no, I get it. It's like drug addiction.

[39:44] Yeah. Yeah.

[39:46] All right. Weird, but okay. I accept that. I accept that. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense though is why do I care? I don't understand. I just don't understand why. This is like one of these things, you know, I have a very vivid memory. I have a very vivid memory of my dad saying, I'm going to leave and I'm never coming back. and me laying in bed shaking because i literally thought i was gonna die and i was like you know i was six years old because when you're a child in here one parent saying oh i'm gonna leave you know you know exactly what that means it just means like oh my god i'm gonna die i'm gonna starve to death right yeah so that's probably like my most vivid memory sadly uh which is, horrible I don't wish I don't wish it on my worst enemy or like I don't wish it on like if Hither was gonna be born again I don't want anyone to go through that again you know but that was me, and when I no when I when I grew up I don't take it seriously but I took it extremely seriously back then and I think it's just I think it was like, this memory was like, it just sat Inside me?

[41:11] And how old were you when you first remembered that phrase?

[41:17] When I first heard it or when I was, like, conceptualizing it.

[41:22] Well, when you remember that phrase, like, I'm going to leave you and so on from your dad. I assume it was more your dad. When you heard that, what age were you when that came into your life?

[41:32] Jesus, it was, you know, from when I started having memories.

[41:38] It's like two years old, three years old kind of thing.

[41:40] Probably, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Could very well be.

[41:43] Right. now why do you think you remember that so vividly and why did you get a sense that disaster, would follow that you starved to death and and so on i'm not saying you didn't have any reason to believe this kind of stuff but why do you think it stuck in your head so strongly.

[42:02] Because i had no emotional support so it was like i thought it was the worst the worst i think i was I was just preparing myself for surviving on my own.

[42:15] Well, do you know how that statement severs the bond, not between your parents, but your parents and you?

[42:27] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[42:28] And why is that?

[42:32] It's like, oh, you got together, you had a child, and now you're playing this kind of theater. What the hell is wrong with you? I thought you were supposed to take care of me.

[42:43] But why is it in particular that that bond, the bond between your parents was not severed by that because they stayed together, although you wouldn't know that as a kid, right? I don't know. But why is it so dangerous in its effect on the bond between your parents and you to hear that? And it's not just about your father leaving, but both your parents' bonds would have been shattered by you hearing your father saying, I'm going to leave. And I don't know if you know or get that connection. The harm is in between your parents, primarily. The harm is between your parents and you.

[43:24] No, no, I get that. I get that. That makes sense. And I knew about it. I thought about it. Okay, so I'd like you to tell me what you're thinking.

[43:39] Sure. So I don't even want to use myself as an example. Okay, so your parents, by yelling at each other, your dad yelling at your mom, I'm going to leave, and what would your mom say? Go ahead or whatever? ever no.

[43:55] It was just kind of end the fight.

[43:58] Well see he'd say i'm gonna leave and that would be it, yeah okay so the reason why it erases the the bond you have with your parents, is that first of all of course you're not supposed to fight in front of your children everybody knows that right everybody knows that you're not supposed to fight in front of your children. Now, if your father is, how loudly was he saying this?

[44:26] As loud as he freaking could.

[44:28] Okay, so he's screaming, I'm leaving, right? And of course, you're in the place and you can hear him, right?

[44:38] Yeah, I was in the other room, but like, it's, you know.

[44:41] Yeah, yeah, but he knows, like, so then you can hear him. Right. So, they are acting as if you're not there. Because your father, like, I don't know, like, the sort of cliche is that the parents are having some fierce but quiet argument, right, in the kitchen, and then they look up at the stairway, and the child is watching them through the bars of the banister, right? And then the parents say, oh, gosh, you know, we really didn't mean for you to hear that. We are having a disagreement. It's not the end of the world. Let's talk about it because we don't want you to be upset, right?

[45:20] Oh, yeah.

[45:21] But they're acting like you don't exist. Like your father is screaming these terrible things at your mother. Nothing's being resolved. And no one's coming into your room saying, oh, I'm so sorry you had to hear that. That's completely wrong and immature. Don't worry about it. I'm just letting off steam. It's the wrong thing to do. I'm not leaving.

[45:38] The Impact of Childhood Memories

[45:39] Like, as if you didn't exist. You had despawned in their mind.

[45:45] Yes, literally. Yeah.

[45:46] You don't exist to your parents. Parents, they do whatever the fuck they want, no matter how much it harms you, and they don't think about you at all. You don't cross their minds. They can just seek out these petty, stupid victories with each other. It can fuck you up completely, and your existence and how it's affecting you doesn't cross their mind, which means you have no bond with your parents. So a bond, I mean, you'll become a parent. Of course, you want kids. You're thinking about your kids all the time, all the time. you maybe get a minute when you wake up where you don't right but you think about your kids all the time and you know what's best for them and and how could like how they could be happier without being too happy so they also get some uh robustness some some challenges and so on but you're thinking about your kids all the time yeah yeah and you your parents didn't seem to think about you much No.

[46:45] I know.

[47:13] They'll just step on your face.

[47:15] Literally. Like, Stefan, do you know how many times I think about my freaking pet every day?

[47:21] Your pet?

[47:22] Like, a million times. Yeah, my pet. My dog. Do you know how many times I think?

[47:25] Oh, yeah, yeah. You think about your dog. Absolutely. Yeah, for sure.

[47:27] Yeah. Three, 35 freaking times. And sometimes I think about him, and then I think about my parents who never thought about me. And I'm just like, how can you be so brain dead? How can you be like these? How can you be like this and have kids? Like, take a freaking contraception pill, for God's sake. I just don't understand. I'm so frustrated with them, because I literally don't understand their thought process.

[47:53] Okay, why are you frustrated? He said in a frustrated tone. Like, seriously. So, you're thinking about this stuff a lot, and I understand that.

[48:02] But...

[48:05] What is your frustration with regards to your parents? I mean, they are who they are. That's why I asked if you've ever really connected with your father. So their capacity to connect with people was long gone by the time you showed up.

[48:17] Yeah.

[48:18] Long gone.

[48:19] Yeah.

[48:19] So they are who they are. You pleading with them to allow in the family some perspective that you have. You're pleading with them. This is what happened to me as a child. Here were the deficiencies. Here are the problems that I've had, and they're affecting me in my life right now, and I'm kind of tortured, and I desperately need you to do something to help me resolve this. And they're like, no, no, no, no, no, right? Totally blank. There's no hesitation. There's no, your mom doesn't call you back the next day, or your dad's saying, oh, you know, I really did think about what you said, and there are some valid points. And, right, they have no input from you.

[48:56] No, it's just like staring blankly out into nothing.

[48:59] Right. right so you might as well be miming on the dark side of the moon as far as input to your parents is that fair to say i'm.

[49:08] Sorry that that sounded so funny yeah.

[49:10] All right yeah so they're completely selfish narcissistic style people they don't care about you they don't care what you think, they just care about this stupid pointless bickering wrestling with each other yeah okay Okay, so that's been, and is that the case with your mom as well? Like we talked about you trying to connect with your dad. Can you think of a time where you've had that kind of relaxed connection with your mom?

[49:37] No, I think she avoids connection, to be honest.

[49:39] All right. She certainly picked the right guy for that.

[49:42] Yeah, yeah, totally. Like she's not, she's, see, she helps me a lot. And she worries about me a lot. but you know i don't i don't really like care i'm sorry like i sound like the worst user like, people are probably sitting at home like why do you ask for no no i don't.

[50:08] I don't care about the judgment that's that's that's boring right.

[50:10] So tell me.

[50:12] How she she helps you and and i don't want to interrupt your general flow but you say that she helps you i'm not disagreeing of course us i just want to know what you mean.

[50:18] Uh no she i think her love language if i can be corny is giving me stuff, I think they're both trying to compensate for the shittiness by giving me stuff.

[50:37] And what do they give you?

[50:42] Money, food. And I never take money.

[50:48] They offer you money, but you don't take it.

[50:50] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[50:50] Okay.

[50:51] Because I just sort of feel I don't want to owe them anything, you know?

[50:57] Okay. Okay, so you're telling me they help you, and here you're telling me how they want to help you, but you don't accept it, which begs the question, how do they help you? It's not money. What is it?

[51:10] Well, when I moved back to the country, it was like I got to stay with them, and I regarded that as help.

[51:18] Okay. And how long did you stay with them for?

[51:23] Oh it took me like six months to find an apartment what.

[51:29] Do you mean it took you six months to find an apartment took.

[51:32] Long live in a town you know yeah.

[51:36] Why i mean i i understand you took six months to find an apartment but that seems to be a little that's a lot different from it was objectively no no man or woman alive could have done it faster, Wait.

[51:52] Sorry, I don't understand what you mean.

[51:53] So you said it took you six months to find an apartment. Now, if someone had offered you a million dollars to find an apartment in less than six months, would you have been able to do it, not counting the million dollars for rent, right? If there had been some massive incentive to get an apartment sooner, would you have been able to do it?

[52:13] Um, I mean, I mean, Mm-hmm.

[52:26] I can save you time. The answer is yes, of course it would have. I mean, if your parents' house had burnt down, you would have found a place to live, right? If your parents had left the country and sold the house, you wouldn't have ended up living on the street, right? So you would have found a place in less than six months. I'm not saying that it's good or bad. I'm just saying that when you say, well, the reason I stayed with them for six months is like, well, that's how long it took me to get a place. And it's like, no, that's not accurate, right? I mean, you would have found a place if your parents had been unavailable. You wouldn't have just lived in the car for six months, right?

[53:00] I mean, I probably wouldn't have had a possibility to move back or I would have felt so ashamed to ask a friend if I could just stay on their couch until I found something.

[53:08] Thing yeah but yeah if let's say a friend had put you up and you stayed on the couch it wouldn't have taken you six months right um.

[53:16] Yeah okay I admit that no.

[53:18] Okay and I'm not it's not a criticism or anything I just want to be accurate right because if you're like well they gave me six months that I desperately needed it's like no because they gave you a place to live you could take a whole lot longer to get a place to stay right yeah okay just want to point that Okay, so they put you up for a while, and what else?

[53:41] When I was living abroad, they would send me stuff that I liked, like food items and things like that. It ended up at my door.

[53:51] Okay, so they've given you a room, a bed to sleep in, and some gift baskets. What else?

[53:59] Let me think. I think aside from like the stuff.

[54:08] I'm sorry, aside from the what stuff?

[54:10] Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud.

[54:12] Oh, yeah. And honestly, I know I'm putting you on the spot. You can totally take your time. That's fine.

[54:19] And when I moved, mom would come with, like, you know, random items for the house that I didn't ask for. I was like, take it, take these plates, take these cups. And I was like, no thanks.

[54:35] Did she go and buy these cups and bring them to you? Or were they leftovers or stuff in the attic or her aunt's chinaware? Or where did she get the cups?

[54:44] She went and bought them, and I think she just has like a general shopping problem. But I mean, it was nice and all. Um, it was, I, I, yeah.

[54:59] And what's your relationship, sorry to interrupt, go ahead.

[55:02] No, some of the stuff I didn't need and other things I, I, I was like, okay, I can use a few more glasses, you know?

[55:09] Uh, right. So not much of utility.

[55:11] Utility oh okay and.

[55:14] Of course when you did go to them with what you really needed which was to understand your childhood they wouldn't give you anything right.

[55:20] No they would just pretty much hide everything from me right right and.

[55:25] What's your relationship with your mother like now.

[55:30] Um now it's more like she asks me for help with like her economy not for money sorry just, just stuff like pay bill or show me how to do stuff on the computer like oh can you write me this email or like can you write me this text and i'm like no you can do it yourself seriously Seriously, you know, like she calls me up for these things and I have to, you know, set boundaries with her because she doesn't really know what boundaries are.

[56:06] How do you, I mean, your parents live together and how do you stay in such close contact with your mother without talking to your father? I mean, he's in the house, isn't he?

[56:17] He is. And I know it's weird. but I give him short answers and he mostly sits in his room and watches TV watches TV.

[56:28] You said your parents are older is he retired?

[56:34] Yeah yeah he is retired he's been retired he got retired like earlier than you were supposed to, but that was due to some accident in the workplace it wasn't because he had a shit ton of money you know.

[56:50] And how long has he been retired for?

[56:56] Jesus, 20 years.

[56:59] Wow. So he retired when you were in the single digits.

[57:05] Yeah.

[57:06] And did he retire, you said it was, did he have disability insurance or is he on government money or how is he doing this?

[57:18] Or he lives off your mom? No, no, she lives off him. um she's retired too, yeah she but she has this weird obsession with like i need to keep working i need to keep myself entertained uh obviously she gets anxieties just having nothing to do i think that's why she's so, naggy because she always has to have something to do to fill out the empty space base but listen they're well off, but like they're not extravagantly well off they're just they haven't developed you know they haven't developed their own personalities really because they've been their own personalities, because you know dad's sitting at home and mom is kind of like oh boy what.

[58:15] Does your dad do all day nothing what do you mean nothing I.

[58:21] Don't understand no like I don't understand either he literally just sleeps and watches TV and whenever something happens to the wifi he goes bananas he's like, where's the TV and then he starts getting like anxiety attacks like where's the TV can you fix this can you fix this oh it's because the.

[58:40] Moment he's alone with any of his own thoughts.

[58:44] Literally right.

[58:46] He panics right.

[58:48] Yeah so.

[58:51] When did your mom retire.

[58:55] Oh just two years ago.

[58:58] Okay so your dad 20 years I mean does he do anything in the community does he do any charity I mean I'm trying to figure out exactly what kind of cliched boomer he is in terms.

[59:11] Of selfishness.

[59:11] But it seems to be he's checking off every single box he.

[59:15] Doesn't leave the house like ever only for doctor appointments and it's sick to be honest and.

[59:26] Does he exercise.

[59:28] No god no is he overweight not even he doesn't eat right.

[59:36] He just, Isn't this depressing as fuck?

[59:43] I'm sorry I'm laughing again, Yeah I.

[59:49] Mean help me understand What are you doing hanging around with these corpses?

[59:59] I'm trying to avoid them, but I don't want to have the call of, listen, I don't ever want to see you again.

[1:00:08] Well, I mean, do you enjoy the time you spend with them?

[1:00:12] No.

[1:00:14] Okay. So what's wrong with, so sorry, what's wrong with being honest? I mean, you've given them lots of chances to provide value to you that you want, that you need. What's wrong? I mean, isn't there a virtue called honesty? Are you Christian? Are you Christian?

[1:00:37] I'm agnostic.

[1:00:39] Right. But I think that you would have a value called honesty, wouldn't you? Like, it's important. It's good to tell the truth, isn't it?

[1:00:47] Yeah, I mean, it is.

[1:00:51] And I think— It is, and it isn't. No, sorry. I heard that pause, which means the reverse is about to happen. Right.

[1:00:58] No, no, I'm going to backpedal on this one. I don't want to hurt their feelings. Okay? I know I should.

[1:01:06] I get it. That's called appeasement. It's when you betray your moral values because you're afraid of other people being upset. It's called appeasement. You understand, it's not being nice.

[1:01:19] No, no, I'm not being nice. I'm just being a cow.

[1:01:22] Yeah, it's not nice.

[1:01:22] Frustration and Reflection on Parental Support

[1:01:22] Like if.

[1:01:22] You have a friend who's overeating and they're getting fat and you don't say anything because you want to upset them and then they die of a heart attack you're not you weren't nice right.

[1:01:29] No i'm not no no i'm not trying to be nice i'm just avoidance as well okay.

[1:01:38] And and you said that your parents were avoidant too right.

[1:01:40] Yeah but the difference is that i would never, you know if if say listen if i had if i had a friend that was eating overeating i promise you I would say something, but now I just don't care about them enough to say something. I just don't care because you know what? They wouldn't understand it.

[1:02:02] Oh no, don't try this one with me, young lady. Don't even try. You can't, at the one hand, you can't say, I just, I'm so terrified to hurt their feelings. I can't even be honest and then say, well, I don't care about them at all. Those are completely contradictory positions and I won't have it. I'm sorry. Like I'll go with, I'll go a long ways with people, but you can't get that one. I'm sorry. You can't say, I'm so terrified of telling them the truth and upsetting them that I'll lie and fake a relationship and then say, well, I just don't care about them. If you didn't care about them, you'd tell them the truth. Am I wrong?

[1:02:43] No, you're not.

[1:02:45] Nice try, though. Listen, that was really good. That was a ninja move. Like, that was spectacular. You almost had me for a second.

[1:02:53] Oh, my God. I'm...

[1:02:55] That's good. That's good. That's really good. I can see why you can talk yourself in and out and stuff, because you didn't even notice that one, right?

[1:03:03] Yeah, no shit. Like, I'm so gaslighted. It's unbelievable.

[1:03:07] Right. Right. Okay.

[1:03:09] I was right.

[1:03:10] Why won't you tell your parents the truth? I don't enjoy spending time with you guys. I've given it 30 years, and it sucks. And I've tried talking to you about stuff that I care about. I've tried talking about you stuff that I'm interested in, and you just, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. It's depressing as hell. Dad, you're basically a mushroom. I mean that's an insult to mushroom at least a mushroom can get you high so I don't know you've wasted two decades of your life you've been basically an unemployed loser since I was nine years old, and it's depressing and it's gross and mom you've let him just rot away in here oh well I've tried I've tried oh well you haven't tried hard enough right so let's say sorry guys like peace out it's been it's depressing I've got my own life to live I'm turning 30 I can't spend the next 20 years hanging around this mausoleum masquerading as a house. What would they say if you said something along those lines?

[1:04:29] I think that they would just pretend they didn't hear.

[1:04:35] Well then you go up and you gently wrap them on the forehead and say hello anybody home echo hello, the lights are on are you in there hello what would they say.

[1:04:55] But we're your parents.

[1:04:58] Yeah, and you should have acted like them. I mean, you really should have. You should have given me advice. You should have given me feedback. You should have given me morals. You should have paid attention to me. Dad, you shouldn't have been screaming where I can hear that you're going to leave the family and never come in to comfort me. You shouldn't have been nicer to strangers than you are to your own family. Oh, and by the way, you shouldn't have bickered like a pair of coked-up cats, for almost the three decades that I've known you, because that's shitty.

[1:05:26] It would make it better if I said what you just said to my dad and my parents.

[1:05:31] I'm sorry?

[1:05:34] Sorry, can I get some retribution points that I actually said what you just said straight to my parents' face?

[1:05:39] Okay, and what did they say?

[1:05:43] Um, you know, the normal stuff like, but I tried.

[1:05:49] But I tried? Okay, let's play this out. Let's play this out. So your parents say, But I tried, right?

[1:05:56] Yeah.

[1:05:57] I say, what do you mean you tried? You mean you yelled within earshot of me that you were going to leave mom when I was a little kid and you tried what? Did you try to come in and comfort me? Did you not remember where the room was? Did you have trouble with the door? What the fuck are you talking about? You didn't try at all. You screamed at mom. You retired to your room and you let me rot in my own terror. You didn't try anything. You didn't try to comfort me. I can't remember a time. when you comforted me or gave me good advice or listened to me or cared about what I thought wanted and preferred. How dare you threaten divorce within my earshot and then fuck off to your own room and not talk to me? How dare you? What is wrong with you? You know what? I don't even care. At this point, I don't care what's wrong with you because it doesn't matter. This is well over a quarter century ago and it can't be fixed.

[1:06:52] You know, now I'm sitting here feeling stupid that I've literally said these things and never acted on them.

[1:06:58] Confronting Parents with Truth and Setting Boundaries

[1:06:58] Like, I said all these things, but then I was like, and now I'm going to leave forever. Bye.

[1:07:06] You don't have to say that, because who knows, right? But you can say, I mean, I don't know what you could say. I can tell you what I said in these kinds of situations, which is not the right thing to say. I'm just going to tell you what I said. But what I said was, they said, oh, so that's it? That's it? And I said, I don't know. But I'll tell you this. I'm not going to contact anyone out of guilt or obligation or history or momentum or sentimentality. I will contact you if I really want to.

[1:07:37] Not because I ought to. Not because I'm feeling guilty. Not because there's some weird obligation. Not because you're my parents, right? Because if it's so important for you that you're my parents, maybe you should have parented me just a little, just a little, because you really didn't. So you don't get the label parents if you didn't parent me. I guess you could get sperm donor, egg holder, and jailers, but you can't get parents because to do that, you actually have to parent people, which means thinking about your kids' needs and giving them some useful affection, advice, information, and wisdom. But I will, I'll be back in touch if and when I feel like it. Well, when's that going to be? I don't know. I don't want to talk to you right now because it's been a horrible experience, horrible experience. Like you've chosen to not listen to me. You've chosen to gaslight me. You've chosen to lie to me, to ignore and wave away all of my concerns, to insult me by saying I should just magically be over it. You guys have been bickering for 30 years and then you tell me I should get over stuff in the past. Are you kidding me? I feel like I'm in a... I'm not just feel... I am in a madhouse. If you guys think it's easy to get over being neglected as a child...

[1:08:52] If you think that it's so simple for me to get over being abused and neglected as a child, then why are you guys fighting three times a day if you're the experts at getting over things? You're terrible at getting over things. But then the moment I come up with real things, you guys won't even get over stupid little things. Who did the dishes? Did you move this? Why didn't you fill up the gas in the car? You guys won't even get over little things, and then you just want to snap your fingers and say, oh, no, no, it's totally easy to get over year after year of neglect and verbal abuse. it's an asylum I'm literally in an asylum so I will be back in touch when I wake up and I'm like you know what my parents have something of real value to offer me, I want to see them I want to bathe in the love and care and concern of their radiant affections, that's, I miss that I miss all of the wonderful times where they listened to me and gave me great advice and held my hand and comforted me and helped me out and asked me whatever they could do to help me get married and have kids, they would be willing to do no matter how difficult or painful when I, dream and think about you guys putting your own needs aside and focusing on what's best for me then I'll give you a shout, I wouldn't sit I wouldn't sit by the phone if I were you, but if I wake up and I can, think of some non-bullshit non-sentimental non-guilt-ridden reason to call you I'll call you.

[1:10:20] I can't think of any right now because this has been, you know, you'll look back and this is like a pivotal moment, right? Like there's some, life comes down to like a couple of moments. It really does. Life comes down to a couple of moments. And this was one of the moments where you had the chance and the choice to listen to me rather than run your own stupid, selfish agenda. And you didn't. You decided to run your own stupid, selfish agenda. You wouldn't listen. You wouldn't give me sympathy. You wouldn't give me the information that I need. You just gaslit me and told me I was wrong and insulted me and ignored me. And that's a decision. I can't change that decision in you. It may be that in the years and decades to come, you look upon this day of conversation and you say, God, did we ever fuck that up? That's terrible. And maybe you will feel that one day, but I still don't think that will make you change because then the next second you'll just invent something to blame me or whatever, right? So, yeah, this is the day where I told you the truth and all you did was lie. And until I prefer lies to the truth, don't expect to hear from me.

[1:11:26] Yeah.

[1:11:28] So what happens after these conversations?

[1:11:34] I leave, go to my own place, and don't call them.

[1:11:38] Okay. And then, that is not the end of the story, of course. And then your mom's like, I need help with an email. Do they call and pretend like nothing happened?

[1:11:53] Are you asking if they would?

[1:11:55] No, you're still in touch with them, right?

[1:12:00] Yeah, yeah, but, like...

[1:12:04] Okay, so you have, sorry, so you have these conversations where you're upset and you get mad at them and you tell them the things in which they're deficient that genuinely hurt you. They gaslight and lie and insult you. And then what happens? You go home and then what happens?

[1:12:18] I live my life. They call me. I give in, obviously.

[1:12:22] Okay, well, why? So why do you give in?

[1:12:26] Out of the, but they're my parents.

[1:12:29] I'm sorry, out of what?

[1:12:30] Yeah. Yeah, no, I give in because, I'm living in this fantasy that parenthood is like just something that you owe someone, not something that you earn.

[1:12:49] Uh-huh. But I'm sorry, haven't they earned the standards they've imposed?

[1:12:59] Right, so if I have a friend, I keep lending him money, he never pays me back, I'll stop lending him money, right? Whereas if I have a friend I lend money to and he pays me back and takes me out for dinner, I'll probably lend him money when he needs to. But the friend who doesn't pay me back when I lend him money, of course he's going to say, well, friendship is everything, man, and you've got to be generous. He just wants free money.

[1:13:23] Because what's reciprocal here other than you've got some glasses for your place, and a couple of gift baskets, which you didn't really want and so you're not treating them badly they have lived with the principle you do what you want, too bad if it hurts people who cares right they your father can scream at your mother that the family's over he's leaving and everyone's going to starve to death and he goes and storms off doesn't think about you so he does what he wants in his own petty vicious mood of the moment and doesn't care about you at all right so i don't understand how they could possibly complain plain, logically, if you're like, you know what, you guys taught me that it's really, really important to do what you want and to be completely indifferent to how it affects others. I don't feel like seeing you. And you say, well, that upsets us. It's like, no, no, that's, that's not a thing because it upset me when you guys pick it every day, but you still pick it every day. So clearly you don't really believe that you should limit your behavior out of consideration for others. So I'm not going to do it either. Like you've taught me well.

[1:14:30] Yeah yeah but.

[1:14:32] Then they'd say well how can you criticize us if you just become us, I'd be like, well, no, I haven't become like you at all. I haven't become like you at all because I didn't do it to you.

[1:14:50] But you've taught me from literally day one. I mean, I probably heard you guys yelling at each other while I was in the womb. But you've taught me, do what you want. Too bad if it hurts others, that doesn't matter. and you've lived like that deliberately for almost 30 years of my life so you know what i don't feel like seeing you guys but that's gonna hurt us it's like no but but that doesn't matter you've taught me that that doesn't matter so i'm liberated by your principles you can't claim now suddenly that the family's feelings matter so much when my feelings as a kid didn't matter and my feelings Even as an adult, literally 10 minutes ago, when I was telling you what upset me as a child, my feelings didn't matter. I was just wrong. Get waved away, gaslit, lied, insulted, go away, stop talking, doesn't matter, move on. Who cares? We did our best. Stop being petty. Let go of the past. My feelings 10 minutes ago didn't matter at all. And now you're trying to tell me that I should guide my life based on your feelings? Are you crazy? I don't even know what your major malfunction is. And I'm really sorry because it's partly my fault because I've let this bullshit go on for way too long and thus reinforced your worst habits, which is on me. And I'm really sorry for that, but I'm not going to keep making that mistake.

[1:16:17] Now, why did you crumble? And it's not an insult. I mean, I think it's fair to say you did, and I'm not insulting you at all. It's a genuine curiosity question. because they call you up and you can say oh yeah listen i'm still looking for information about my childhood when you want to talk about that give me a shout totally happy to hear they call you back no still looking for information about my childhood and i'm also still looking for you guys to take ownership for what you did an apology or two would be pretty nice when you want to talk about that i'm totally happy to chat they call you back nope you're still not like you just keep Keep saying what you want. So why did you get drawn back into the unreality of nothing happened? And I say this with sympathy. I really do. And by the way, this is the reason you're not married. To say.

[1:17:18] Hold on.

[1:17:19] Woof. What did the dog say when he sat on the sandpaper? Ruff, So I'll stand up here while I'm waiting for her to come back.

[1:17:37] I'm sorry about that.

[1:17:38] No, don't worry about it, it's no problem at all.

[1:17:42] And I'm going to edit this out I'm going to say it again, I've got to go soon Okay.

[1:17:47] We'll keep it real brief How long do we have, 10 minutes?

[1:17:50] Yes. Okay.

[1:17:51] So we'll keep it real brief. So the reason why you crumbled is the same reason you're not married. You've had a 14-year relationship, right?

[1:18:02] Yeah.

[1:18:03] Yeah, 13. So the same reason that you crumbled is the same reason you're not married, and that is because you are alone in this fight. You don't have anyone in your corner. You don't have anyone standing up for you. You don't have any allies, and that's what we do. You're an only child who grew up with very dominant, violent, neglectful, and sometimes verbally abusive parents. No one's ever been on your side. Nobody ever takes your corner. Nobody ever props you up. And so you have to crumble because your boyfriend or whatever you'd want to call a guy of 14 years is not 150% on your side and helping you stand up to this kind of exploitation. Does that make sense? your parents hurt you and he doesn't do everything in his power to have them stop hurting you which means you can't really trust him i.

[1:18:54] Mean i'm not this is going to sound very defensive uh i just want to say two things number one he comes from a similar background and has is probably figuring it out. Number two, he's tried saying we should just go together and stop talking to our parents, but I've chickened out as well. And that might be because of what you're saying. No.

[1:19:23] Well, the fact that he comes from a similar background should mean that he's even stronger and better at doing this if he's been willing to work at it. now so he said let's stop talking to our destructive parents or our abusive parents or whatever and you were like no I'm not going to do that right, now to be loved right to be loved is when someone around you one of the components is they can't stand you being hurt right, yeah they can't stand you they can't stand the sight of you being hurt right, Now, if, I don't know, in some alternate universe, right? I was dating a woman who cut herself, right? I never have, of course, but let's say I was dating a woman who cut herself, right? Now, that's watching her hurt herself, right? Now, if I said, listen, you've got to go and get treatment for this because this is unbearable for me to watch. I can't stand watching you cut yourself. And she said, no, if I loved her, what would I do?

[1:20:38] I would leave her, if I loved her. Because loving her means I can't stand watching her get hurt. And so if she's hurting herself and won't fix it, I can't watch that. Because it's too painful to me, because I love her. I also don't want to enable what is obviously a bad decision process of...

[1:21:00] Continuing to cut yourself right so if your boyfriend truly loved you and you know i'm not saying he doesn't care enormously but if he truly loved you he'd be like look i can't stand what happens to you when you're around your parents so if you're going to continue to see them i can't see you right any more than i could be around you since if i love you and you keep punching yourself in the face. I can't do it. Because it hurts me too much to see you hurt.

[1:21:32] The Painful Choice of Self-Protection

[1:21:33] So if you're going to put yourself in a situation where you keep hurting yourself, because at this point, it is your choice, right? You're not a kid. You're not stuck there. So if you're going to put yourself in a situation where you keep hurting yourself, then I can't be with you. Because I also have to think about my future and my heart and my self-protection and what's best for my kids. I don't want my kids being around your parents. I don't want your parents to take care of my kids or our kids, right? Because I don't want the bickering. I don't want the fighting. I don't want the destruction. I can't trust them. I don't think that they connect well with people and so on, right? So these people who did you the greatest harm, I don't like, of course, because they harmed you. The fact that they continue to do you great harm means I like them even less.

[1:22:18] And I just, I can't, I can't have this in my life. I can't have you and people who hurt you in my life. And I certainly can't have people who hurt their offspring around my children. Does this make sense? Can you hear me? Did we lose each other? I thought we had a few more minutes.

[1:22:44] Hello, hello. Oh, dear. Oh dear, what can the matter be? I've been drowning in flattery. All right. Chat, here we go. Did we lose something there?

[1:23:03] Hello. All right, I guess I'll try hanging up and calling again. Hello. Oh, she's unavailable. All right. Well, it looks like we may have lost her for the call, but yeah, that's the kind of thing. I think that's important to try and sort out, which is, if people care about you, they won't be in situations where you continue to hurt yourself. Okay, yeah, so she said, I'm sorry I heard what you said, but I don't want to disclose what you said to my boyfriend. I kind of got very emotionally overwhelmed, too. I'm so very sorry. Okay, well, so, yeah, she doesn't want to. I guess she hung up on me. I guess that's what happened. Well, that's new. I don't think that's happened before. But hey, whatever, right? I mean, that's the way the cookie crumbles. So, yes, people should not be in situations where they have to watch you get really hurt and upset. So... I guess she'll have to continue and learn some other way, some other way. All right. Well, thanks, everyone, so much, of course, for your support and all of this kind of good stuff. I really do appreciate it. And I wish the very best to this young lady. And if she ever wants to call back, she is certainly welcome. All right. Take care, everyone. Bye. Hello, hello.

[1:24:21] Hello.

[1:24:22] Hey, how's it going?

[1:24:24] Good. Thanks for having the call soon after, by the way.

[1:24:29] No problem at all. No problem at all. I'm all ears. How did it play for you yesterday?

[1:24:38] Honestly, I just decided to just put it on hold in my head, and just sort of pick off where we left off, if that makes sense. I have a lot in school right now, so I just had to compartmentalize and just get on with it.

[1:24:57] Sorry, I'm not sure what put it on hold. I mean, it seems like you hung up on me.

[1:25:04] Yeah, I wasn't comfortable with, you know, walking into the house and being like, hey, who are you talking to? And I was just like, oh, yeah, Stefan Molyneux. It would be like, what the fuck, you know?

[1:25:20] Right, right, okay.

[1:25:22] But yeah, like probably going to show this afterwards. It was just a bit awkward.

[1:25:30] Show this? Oh, you mean to your boyfriend?

[1:25:33] Yeah.

[1:25:34] Right. Okay. So you're walking home to your boyfriend and then he wouldn't be confused about who you were talking to. And then so you hung up on me.

[1:25:47] I mean, sort of, and also I got upset because of my parents, so I started crying. So it would have just been very dramatic. So I'm sorry that I...

[1:25:56] Sorry, first of all, why is that dramatic? And secondly, why not just tell me that? I mean, it's a bit confusing to be hung... I've never... I mean, I've been doing this. Funny, you actually win the prize, the first person to hang up on me. It's kind of... No, really? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I don't generally have that. Because, you know, I sort of encourage people to talk about what's going on and so on.

[1:26:15] But, no like I actually regret that I didn't say hey when I have a talk with Stefan I don't know why the hell I didn't say that, because it would just have been I thought that it would just have been like weird that I come home and you know sort of have to explain everything and then it would just be well.

[1:26:41] It's awkward I guess to talk about your boyfriend with your boyfriend in the house right.

[1:26:46] Yes thanks exactly what i meant okay.

[1:26:49] All right all right okay so um did you want to talk about anything else to do with your parents or your life or did you want to talk about your boyfriend what's your preference.

[1:27:02] Uh probably move on but, but move on to what that's my question now to talk about my relationship or my boyfriend or whatever but like probably just a quick recap would be good uh sure you're better at stuff like that than me well.

[1:27:23] 14 years right.

[1:27:24] Uh yeah something like that yeah so.

[1:27:28] Like late teens to where you are sorry i guess what mid-teens to where you are now.

[1:27:33] Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

[1:27:35] So tell me a little bit about the relationship and 14 years no marriage right obviously.

[1:27:41] Yeah no marriage um well first of all like i'm gonna i'm gonna try and answer uh as best i can why we're not married and why we don't have kids and it's going to sound like a lot of excuses but i don't care i'm just gonna like give you the gist of it really so you then you can just dissect a sec what I'm saying, if you want. Um, no, but basically, okay, so we're from two different countries, right? And. it's been a lot of like bureaucracy a lot of fighting back and forward with uh different, you know i tried living there he's tried living here um there's been there's been a lot of bumps in the process sort of like no we're not gonna consent to your application or um it's been difficult getting a job here and there. I've also moved to his country. I didn't like it. I didn't like being away from my family and my friends. And I didn't like the people. I'm sorry. I just didn't like the culture. It didn't fit in.

[1:29:00] Sorry, but how did you meet a guy in another country in your mid-teens?

[1:29:04] You know back then we there was like a different sort of social contacts when you played video games it was a lot more well it wasn't we didn't have a dating the whole dating thing, it was more we met through mutual interests really instead of so you met like.

[1:29:24] Online gaming me.

[1:29:25] Yeah yeah okay yeah and we were friends for a year and then my mom actually suggested that we would meet each other your mom and you.

[1:29:41] Were what 16.

[1:29:42] Yeah so.

[1:29:45] You're sorry you met a guy online you were friends for a year and your mother when you were 16 suggested that you meet up with this person you'd met online.

[1:29:55] Yes but it would have to be here so he came here right.

[1:30:03] And what's the purpose.

[1:30:05] Of having you.

[1:30:06] Meet this guy up online because she thought it would be good dating for you.

[1:30:12] I think that's what she thought she was just like you've been talking to him every day for a year what's the point like why aren't you because you seem to like each other so.

[1:30:25] Like for dating right i'm just curious i.

[1:30:29] Assume so yeah okay yeah so.

[1:30:32] Then did his family pay for the costs for him to come and visit you.

[1:30:39] He was a bit, like, he's three years older than me, so he already started working.

[1:30:44] Oh, come on, man. Oh, my God. This is crazy. So your mother has a legal adult come and meet you while you're legally a child for dating purposes from the internet.

[1:31:02] But wait, it doesn't work like that in this country. You're 15. After 15, you can date. It's, like, not illegal.

[1:31:09] Did I say anything about the dating? You're still legally a child, though, right?

[1:31:14] I mean, yeah, but he was going to come home to us and stay with us.

[1:31:20] He was going to stay in your house?

[1:31:23] Yeah.

[1:31:25] So mom invites a 19-year-old stranger from the internet to come and stay with you at your house when you're 16 years old.

[1:31:36] I mean yeah but we have been on video calls and talked to each other a little bit it wasn't like completely like that well.

[1:31:44] Anyway the video calls were with your sorry the video calls were with your mother yeah yeah i mean i'm maybe i'm old-fashioned does this strike you as, normal if it does hey man maybe it's a different world but in a zillion years that would never ever happen in my household like there's no way no.

[1:32:04] It wouldn't happen in mine either but.

[1:32:06] Okay so why are you why are you fighting me that it's weird because.

[1:32:11] I'm just saying like he's not some weirdo well.

[1:32:19] He's 19 years old and uh chatting with a 16 year old which you know i'm i get you You know, it's three years or four years or whatever, but can't he find an adult?

[1:32:35] I mean, he was with someone, but they broke up.

[1:32:43] Right. Okay, all right. Well, I'm not going to, if you want to be okay with it, obviously, I guess it's the foundation story of your relationship. So, okay, so the guy comes to visit, and what happens?

[1:33:01] What happens is that we, well, we hang out in the same space, the whole family, my parents get a feel for him, Lenny and him play video games together with some people that we knew. Do you mean like all in the same place? Yeah, like a LAN.

[1:33:24] Okay, got it.

[1:33:26] And so he met some of my friends we hung out and then after like on the second day or something we went out to cinema together to dinner uh just casually hang out like as friends you know and then everything went pretty naturally so we had the talk or like you know where you just like, is this what you expected sort of sorry and he's staying in a.

[1:34:06] Spare room at your parents house.

[1:34:08] Yeah Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. We decided we were boyfriend and girlfriend, and then we kissed.

[1:34:22] On the second day?

[1:34:25] Yeah.

[1:34:26] Okay.

[1:34:31] And it was nice. It was nice.

[1:34:35] But why... Why are your parents encouraging a boyfriend from another country? I mean, it's illegal quagmire and hell on earth to try and get together with people from other countries, right?

[1:34:53] I didn't know that.

[1:34:55] No, but they knew that. I get that you didn't know that, but you're a kid. They knew that. I'm trying to figure out what's going on here. year.

[1:35:06] And like as i said i wasn't parented as i said.

[1:35:11] Oh no no no this is a parenting choice come and stay at our house you 19 year old from another country and get involved with our daughter, yeah that's absolutely apparent that's not indifference i mean your mom sorry your mom was the one who suggested that he come over right.

[1:35:38] Yeah, yeah, exactly.

[1:35:38] Okay, so that's active parenting. Bring him over. All right. He can stay with us. What the hell?

[1:35:47] I just want to say straight away that I would never in my wildest imagination do what my mom did. I would never in my wildest dreams be as chill as she was. I'm just very happy that it worked out.

[1:35:58] I'm sorry. Did you actually use the word chill with regards to this? That's not the right word. okay irresponsible well no she's taking full responsibility she's suggesting the meeting she's setting it up she's putting him up this very it's not irresponsible she's taking every bit of responsibility i i honestly don't know what the hell's going on here i i can't even think of a word for it but none of those words apply all right anyway so you you kiss the guy and your boyfriend girlfriend, and that's the second day he's over and then what happens?

[1:36:50] The Unspoken Understanding

[1:36:50] There's a few days and And your parents know? No.

[1:36:58] Oh, so you don't tell your parents. Okay, sorry, go ahead.

[1:37:01] Well, we held hands when we were in public, like sort of in front of my parents I think they understood that we clicked.

[1:37:09] Okay, so they understood that your teenage boyfriend, that your teenage guy was now your boyfriend, and he's still sleeping under the same roof and all that, right?

[1:37:22] Yeah, yes, yeah.

[1:37:24] All right. And then...

[1:37:29] And then he went home.

[1:37:32] Well, how long did he stay?

[1:37:36] Sorry?

[1:37:37] How long did he stay?

[1:37:41] Three or five days? No, not a week, like just under a week.

[1:37:47] Okay. And did your parents talk to you about dating this guy and the challenges of it being long distance in another country, you being 16? Anything like that?

[1:38:02] No, there was complete silence afterwards. It was just, are you still together? Okay, good.

[1:38:08] Oh, good. So they approved of him. They approved of the relationship.

[1:38:12] Yes, yes.

[1:38:14] And then?

[1:38:17] And then it was just a back and forth chaos of me being, or us being, very infatuated with each other, trying to... you know make money to go and see each other as much as we could um.

[1:38:36] Is it you don't have to give me obviously the details but is it a far country is it like alaska and australia or is it uh you know france and germany is it in terms of i don't mean the actual countries i'm sorry it's.

[1:38:52] Like it's It's like, oh, my God, it's like Greece and France, maybe. I don't know.

[1:38:59] Okay. Got it. Medium, medium distance. Okay. Like a couple of countries between.

[1:39:04] Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

[1:39:05] Okay. But there's no language barrier, right?

[1:39:10] In the beginning, well, in the beginning, there sort of was, but, you know, my English got good quite fast.

[1:39:18] Oh, so there was a language barrier at the beginning.

[1:39:22] Like a tiny bit, but not really.

[1:39:29] Alright, so you're now dating this long-distance guy?

[1:39:33] Yeah.

[1:39:34] Okay, and then?

[1:39:37] And then I tried to move schools, to, you know, live with him.

[1:39:45] I'm sorry, what now? You tried to live with him?

[1:39:47] I tried to, yeah, because like after we've seen each other about 10 times or something, we started, we wanted to live with each other.

[1:39:56] And how old were you at this point? I don't know.

[1:39:59] Um 19 oh.

[1:40:01] Okay so we just skipped a couple of years i wasn't i wasn't sort of aware of that okay.

[1:40:05] Oh okay sorry no i was 19 tried to go there there was bureaucratic um complications, well sure because you're not i.

[1:40:14] Mean you're not married.

[1:40:17] So they don't know who you are.

[1:40:19] And why you should be living there right okay.

[1:40:23] Yeah but in the eu it's a bit more complicated it actually doesn't matter if you're married or not is just i know amazingly i know in the u.s it's a big thing to get married but here it hardly changes your status like they don't give a shit quite frankly it's just like, how it's it's very random i can't even explain i don't know that there's no transparency and what you need how old you have to be your marriage status anything like that it's just Oh.

[1:40:54] So these are two EU countries? These are two EU countries?

[1:41:00] Yeah.

[1:41:01] So, I mean, I thought the whole point was basically you could work and live anywhere. I know it's more complicated than that, but...

[1:41:11] So you'd think so, but in reality, it doesn't work like that.

[1:41:14] Okay. All right. So you go out and try to live with him. And what did your parents, when you were 19, what did your parents think about you going out to live with him?

[1:41:27] Don't do it.

[1:41:28] Oh, now they're putting the brakes on. First, they invite him over when you're 16. And then when you want to go and live with him, they're like, well, maybe this isn't a great idea. Is that right?

[1:41:38] Yeah, literally.

[1:41:39] Oh, my God.

[1:41:41] I'm so sorry I'm.

[1:41:43] So sorry okay so you ignore your parents and go live with him but legally it doesn't work out right and you have to come back after a.

[1:41:52] While or no I never even got there oh.

[1:41:56] You never got there.

[1:41:57] No we were fighting for like a long time he was trying to find out the rules and all that and it just failed so he was like okay but got, um, I'm halfway through my university course. I can try and move to you instead.

[1:42:13] So you, you were fighting with the bureaucracy, so to speak, but not with each other, right?

[1:42:18] Yeah, no, never with each other.

[1:42:20] Okay. And your relationship was, was good and not conflict and all of that, right?

[1:42:26] I mean, there were, there was some conflicts, um, because I wasn't very well off mentally. Because I was tired of fighting with the bureaucracy. And he was quite wrong. Oh God, what's happening to my voice? I'm sorry.

[1:42:51] I'm a little frocky too, so that's fine. So you were tired from fighting with the bureaucracy and he was, I didn't get that word, sorry.

[1:42:59] It was just, we were young and immature and we didn't, I don't know what's happening to my voice. I have to drink some water.

[1:43:10] Yeah, no problem.

[1:43:11] Sorry. No, there's like some new EU law that all the corks have to be on the bar altum. It's freaking annoying. Okay, I'm ready.

[1:43:34] All right. So you were having some conflict based on the stress of the paperwork?

[1:43:43] Yes.

[1:43:44] Right.

[1:43:45] And trauma from my parents not really parenting until it suits them. sort of um i was confused because you know like i didn't have any friends and i didn't want to i didn't want to be a loser like that so i was focusing a lot on my social skills to try, and get better and i got a lot better and i have a lot of friends today thank god but that like for that to happen i have to take a major distance from my parents i just have to decide that i I didn't want to be like them.

[1:44:23] Sorry, you said you visited him 10 times. Was he living with his parents when you visited him, or was he living on his own?

[1:44:33] No, with his parents.

[1:44:35] And so I guess at the age of 16 or so, or maybe 17, you went to go and visit him at his parents' house, and what did his parents say or think or talk to you about all of this?

[1:44:49] Oh it was it was great i really i really liked them like they said that they tried to make me feel comfortable um they asked a lot of questions about my parents they asked a lot of questions about me and they were like, you know i just felt like they were very welcoming and and so they had no problem with.

[1:45:15] Your parents letting a 19-year-old come and sleep under their roof who's sexually interested in their 16-year-old? They never said, like, that seems a bit odd. Maybe we should have a chat with them. There might be a misalignment of values. Not that that's your fault, but did they ever express any concern about any of that? Well, I guess not, because they didn't tell their son, no, of course you can't go. Not because she's a bad girl, of course, right, but because her parents are fine with you going.

[1:45:45] There is a language barrier between his parents and my parents.

[1:45:49] Okay, but did they ask you? Like, tell me, what was the story with your parents and inviting a 19-year-old guy to come and court their 16-year-old daughter under their roof? Sorry, go ahead.

[1:46:03] I don't remember exactly what they said, but I definitely asked, like, is this okay for you? And like, what do your parents think? Right.

[1:46:14] But were they of the opinion that if your parents were fine with it, then they were fine with it?

[1:46:22] I think so.

[1:46:23] All right. Okay. Are they Christians?

[1:46:31] Culturally only.

[1:46:32] Oh, so they don't go to church?

[1:46:35] No.

[1:46:36] Okay. But they believe in Christian values, more or less, right?

[1:46:41] I think so, yeah.

[1:46:43] What do you mean you think so? You've known these people for a decade and a half, almost.

[1:46:49] I mean there's just sort of like they go there when it's holidays that's it.

[1:46:55] Wait sorry I thought wait they go to church wait do they go to church or not go to church.

[1:47:00] In their country it's more like.

[1:47:03] Oh come on this is a yes no this is let's not get complicated this is kind of a yes no do they go to church no okay but do they go to church on holidays yeah so what are you talking about, they go to church no they go to church on holidays yes then they go to church I'm not saying I didn't say do they go to church every day or every week do they go to church.

[1:47:27] Okay yeah they go to church.

[1:47:29] I'm sorry why are you laughing like you're conceding some bizarre point I'm just asking your pointed question if someone goes to church then they're Christians you can't say they're just cultural Christians if they actually go to church.

[1:47:41] You're fine I just felt a bit silly that I just didn't say yes or no.

[1:47:45] Why See, why wouldn't you want to just tell me, yes, they're Christians. You know, maybe I didn't ask how devout they are, but they go to church. They're Christians, right?

[1:47:59] Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

[1:48:02] And why do you think you had hesitation in affirming that basic fact?

[1:48:07] They don't really act like Christians.

[1:48:09] That's right. That's right, my dear. They really don't act like Christians. All right. But it's okay. Yeah, yeah. christians don't and i get it that and and a lot of atheists act even worse so all right, so you go and try to live with him but you sorry you want to go and try and live with him but you can't get there because of paperwork and then what happens.

[1:48:33] He tries to go to me after his university is done.

[1:48:36] Yeah yeah and what are you doing What are you doing in your early adulthood here?

[1:48:42] Going to school. Like going to, I don't know what you say in English, but like, what do you say, like grad school?

[1:48:49] Yeah, grad school. So at this point, you finished your undergraduate and you're going to your grad school.

[1:48:56] Uh, yeah, some, something, something like that. Yeah.

[1:48:59] And you obviously don't have to tell me the field, but is, is what you're studying the basis of what you do as an adult, like in terms of your job?

[1:49:11] Not at all.

[1:49:12] Okay. It's completely unrelated. So you probably did some artsy fartsy thing and then you ended up doing something more practical. Okay. Got it. Got it. Hey, I've been there, man. I've been there.

[1:49:21] Yeah, same thing for my boyfriend, which is why I'll tell you later.

[1:49:25] Okay keep keep going all right so um you you can't live with him and you're in your early 20s he says in early to mid 20s and what happens then he.

[1:49:37] Comes to me after he's done with his rc Farsi and he stays and I don't remember much but I can summarize this for you he can't he doesn't succeed in finding a job.

[1:49:59] And where are you guys staying to you do you live on your own at this point.

[1:50:06] Uh no with my parents.

[1:50:08] Are you so you spent your early 20s to mid-20s living with your parents is that right yeah and when did you i mean i assume you don't still live with your parents though maybe you do but when did that end uh.

[1:50:22] When i was 23 24.

[1:50:24] Okay got it so he can't get a job now he can't get a job of any kind or he can't get a job that he wants.

[1:50:34] Um, it takes him, he's on, on and off jobs. Um, there's a language barrier.

[1:50:48] Uh, sorry, there's a language barrier because he doesn't speak English very well.

[1:50:53] No, because he doesn't speak my language.

[1:50:55] Okay. Got it. Got it. Okay.

[1:50:58] Yes. Uh, so.

[1:51:01] And how long has he had? So you guys have... Oh, but was the original idea that he would come to you? I'm trying to figure out how he ends up trying to build a relationship, which he's known for years, might involve him learning your language, and he hasn't learned your language.

[1:51:19] Because the plan was that I moved there first.

[1:51:22] Okay, okay, got it. So this was a real change, and now he had to come and try and find work, but he couldn't because of the language barrier.

[1:51:32] Yeah.

[1:51:32] Okay, got it, got it. And then?

[1:51:35] Struggles with Manual Labor and Law School

[1:51:36] Eventually he did find something, but it was a, you know, like one of those very physical construction work and jobs where they treat you like shit.

[1:51:46] Basically. Right. But I assume he's working on the language stuff, right?

[1:51:54] Yeah, yeah, and it's perfect today.

[1:51:57] Oh, so he learns your language perfectly?

[1:52:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[1:52:01] So if he learns your language perfectly, why does he work in a physical job? I thought the reason he couldn't get a better job was because of the language barrier. Sorry if I'm confused, but straighten me out.

[1:52:13] Well, it's because he doesn't have a degree that's useful.

[1:52:21] No, I don't think that's it. No, no, no, no. No, I got jobs. I got jobs with computers with a history degree. I got a job programming computers with a history degree. So I'm not saying like I'm the mark of everyone or everything, but, you know, I do a philosophy podcast podcast, and I don't have a degree in philosophy, right? So it's not that. So why can't he get a job even if he speaks a language?

[1:52:49] Well, because he wanted to become a lawyer.

[1:52:54] I don't understand how that follows at all. Why can't he get a job?

[1:52:59] Well, because he doesn't have a degree, so he can't work at a law firm.

[1:53:03] Well, I get that. But if he wanted to become a lawyer, why did he get an arts degree? Or why doesn't he go get a law degree?

[1:53:11] He didn't have it figured out, just like me, I guess.

[1:53:16] Oh, he didn't know that he wanted to be a lawyer.

[1:53:19] Yeah, exactly.

[1:53:20] Okay. So when he finds out that he wants to be a lawyer, he doesn't go to school for law.

[1:53:28] He does. He gets into school here after having to do some completion courses.

[1:53:34] Okay, so he gets into school to be a lawyer in your country?

[1:53:39] Yeah.

[1:53:40] Okay. But you guys aren't living together?

[1:53:45] We're living together at my parents' and then we moved to my own place, or our own place.

[1:53:50] So is he staying now because he's a student? Is that right?

[1:53:55] No, he got a job now.

[1:53:57] Oh, so he's doing the manual labor and studying to be a lawyer at night?

[1:54:04] Yeah okay.

[1:54:05] Got it and then.

[1:54:08] And then um, then we just sort of figured out we tried to figure out like, what I wanted to do um, I had no flipping clue so So I thought that I wanted to become a stay-at-home wife, but in his country. uh because there was more like a family value environment sort of thing going on was my understanding in his country.

[1:54:54] And how's how are you with his language good okay so you might want to be a stay-at-home mom he's in school and so you talk about that with him like let's get married let's have kids yeah yeah okay and how old are you at this point uh 26 26 okay and are you working at this point i'm.

[1:55:25] Studying right now now i don't know what i want to do.

[1:55:28] How long have you been studying for here you've been for eight years i.

[1:55:34] Know i know i know.

[1:55:35] So do you got your phd or masters, or, like?

[1:55:39] No, I was just working before.

[1:55:42] You were working, okay.

[1:55:43] I thought I could, yeah, I thought I could, you know, work my way up, but it doesn't really.

[1:55:49] Sorry, work your way up in the field that you were educated in?

[1:55:53] No, work my way up in just menial freaking, what do you say, like sales crap.

[1:56:02] Okay, all right. So you go back to school.

[1:56:06] Yeah, I go back to school because I just want to pick something now and get on with it and finish it.

[1:56:13] But sorry, how does going back to school... I guess you were already in grad school, right? So are you going back to school for your PhD? I'm sorry if I've got the timeline off.

[1:56:24] No, we were on his timeline. Now we jumped to my timeline.

[1:56:27] Oh, his timeline.

[1:56:28] So we haven't gone through my timeline.

[1:56:31] Sorry, I thought you said... I remember you saying, like, what's the English phrase? Grad school. And I said, yes. and that's after your undergraduate. So I thought that was you. Was that you or him?

[1:56:43] No, that was me.

[1:56:44] Okay, so you were in grad school.

[1:56:45] I don't have university. I never went to uni.

[1:56:48] Okay. So like, okay, okay. So anyway, so you go back, are you going back at 26 to get your master's? Or something like that, right? I mean, to more education.

[1:57:02] Yeah, something like that, yeah. Yeah, but I'm completely, I'm going to change it, field completely.

[1:57:08] Okay. Now, if you want to be a stay-at-home mom, why are you going back to school?

[1:57:15] Because when we figured out that we should be the stay-at-home mom and working mom sort of thing, in his country, we tried moving there, and I absolutely hated it.

[1:57:33] So you can't be a stay-at-home mom in his country, although you could live there legally, right?

[1:57:42] I could live there illegally, but...

[1:57:44] Sorry, no. Illegally or legally?

[1:57:47] Legally.

[1:57:47] Legally, okay.

[1:57:48] But there was more fighting with bureaucracy, and we both got fed up.

[1:57:53] Oh, there was more fighting to get you to stay?

[1:57:56] Yeah.

[1:57:56] Legal Battles and Career Choices

[1:57:57] Okay. So then you decide not to do the stay-at-home mom thing. Is that right? Because you're going to work at this point because you don't like his country.

[1:58:10] Also, like in any country, if you're going to move to any country, nobody is going to be like, oh, you're going to be stay-at-home mom? Yeah, sure. Come here. Don't come here. And you can get access to all these state services without contributing a dime the way we want you to.

[1:58:24] And you can understand that right now why is it that you guys hadn't gotten married i mean i'm no expert in this but i assume it would make the immigration stuff slightly easier.

[1:58:36] No it wouldn't.

[1:58:37] Oh it doesn't matter okay no all right listen i'll obviously defer to your expertise you've been working with this stuff for years okay yeah all right sorry go ahead no.

[1:58:47] It just it doesn't matter it's not unlike in the u.s it doesn't hold the same weight here Got it.

[1:58:52] Okay. And was there a time when you did want to get married or that wasn't particularly on your radar?

[1:59:00] I wanted to get married before I had children. That was the only rule.

[1:59:07] And so did you want to get married? I mean, forget the kids, right? I mean, did you want to get married?

[1:59:13] No, he proposed to me.

[1:59:16] How old were you when he proposed to you?

[1:59:18] You uh 22 uh.

[1:59:24] 22 okay and.

[1:59:26] You said no no i said yes you.

[1:59:29] Said yes okay.

[1:59:30] Yeah yeah i mean then it never we didn't get on with it like it wasn't it was just a nightmare because first of all um, there's believe it or not three countries involved because i said my parents are immigrants right, so there's three countries involved my home country my parents home country his country my boyfriend's country and it was a it was a bit of a logistical nightmare also we didn't have we wanted we had this vision that we wanted to invite everyone and you know So it didn't happen because there was so much shit going on. And the whole bureaucracy thing just, it threw me off because you see, if we came to a point where this is never legally going to work, I don't want to have to go through a divorce.

[2:00:39] Okay. Yeah. I mean, sorry. Sorry, I feel we're spending a lot of time at the bureaucracy, which I understand is a big deal, but doesn't have much philosophical import. And while you have my sympathies, of course. Okay, so you go to grad school or you go to higher education and he's working to be a lawyer, right? Okay, and then?

[2:01:00] So we live in his country and I hate it because a million different reasons. So we moved back to my country. Now he's working. I'm studying. I am done next year. At which point we were planning to have children.

[2:01:19] So you're done your studies next year. And how is he? He's almost done his law stuff?

[2:01:25] He's working.

[2:01:26] Oh, so he's working as a lawyer?

[2:01:28] Yeah. Okay.

[2:01:29] Got it. Got it. All right.

[2:01:33] Yeah.

[2:01:34] So is there an issue that you wanted to... and I appreciate the update and the information. It's very helpful. And was there something in particular that you wanted to talk about regarding the relationship?

[2:01:49] Jesus, that's, that's the, let me have a couple seconds to think.

[2:01:54] Yeah, I mean, the reason I'm asking is that when it came to your boyfriend, that's sort of when you hung up on me.

[2:02:00] Yeah, because.

[2:02:03] I just wanted to sort of point out that's interesting because we'd had a long conversation about how your parents don't apologize, right?

[2:02:12] Yeah.

[2:02:13] And. It's rude to hang up on someone, right?

[2:02:21] Oh sorry did you accept my apology or well.

[2:02:25] It's generally if you're talking again it's usually important to to mention it like i'm sorry that was kind of rude and oh i mean it's just i mean maybe it's an old british thing for me it's just kind of a politeness thing but i just but that's that's when you kind of freaked out yesterday and the context of the conversation yesterday was i I was saying that if someone really loves you, then they can't stand to see you being hurt. And if there are people in your life who are hurting you, he's going to set himself against them, right?

[2:02:57] Yes, that's correct. And I just want to say again, I really apologize for my abruption yesterday.

[2:03:03] No problem.

[2:03:04] I'm very sorry.

[2:03:04] I appreciate that.

[2:03:05] That was rude.

[2:03:06] I appreciate that. All right. So, yeah.

[2:03:11] Yeah.

[2:03:11] Yeah. Why was that? But I mean, maybe he has said, you know, gosh, this is, I mean, I remember you said, let's not talk to our parents. No, he said, let's not talk to our parents. But you didn't want to do that, right?

[2:03:26] No, I didn't. I did not.

[2:03:28] Right. So why was it troublesome to you when I said that someone who, I'm not saying he doesn't love you, but I mean, I think there are levels of love, if that makes sense. and where we mess up in our levels of love is we appease rather than stand for values. Right, so, and this is tough for men these days. I'll just give you the male perspective. So from the male perspective, we're trained and raised to please women and we also, of course, have a biological drive and desire to do that. And so for your boyfriend, if he says, I assume he has some issues with your parents, is that right? uh yes and he knows that you've tried to talk to your parents about the problems you have with their parenting and they've totally blown you off right yeah he does okay so he knows all of that he also knows that you don't want to spend time with your parents but you do it out of a sense of guilt and fear is that right yeah an obligation yeah obligation so he does he like your parents.

[2:04:33] Okay so and that makes sense he couldn't he couldn't love you and like your parents like that just wouldn't be a thing right so for men we want to we want to stand tall and we want to be like no like you are hurting and this is going to sound very primal but i'm sure it's going on for him you're hurting my woman i don't like you get lost does that make sense yeah like if he had a friend who kept putting you down oh man you could do better she's too this she's too that he'd be be like no this is the woman i love get lost like no then.

[2:05:06] You wouldn't do that.

[2:05:06] Right yeah so he wants to assert himself in protection of you does that make sense yes and you know obviously he's got his own issues with his own parents as you sort of alluded to in the last convo but he wants to assert himself in protection of you because that's what bros do that's what we're kind of all about now the problem is though there's a real contradiction and a collision Which happens when we say, I want to protect my wife or my girlfriend from people who treat her badly. But she gets very upset when I want to protect her. Does that make sense?

[2:05:47] Yes.

[2:05:47] Because then she says, you protecting me is causing me massive distress, right?

[2:05:54] Yes, that's basically exactly what I say, yeah.

[2:05:57] So then he says, oh, my gosh, I want to protect her, but I'm harming her by protecting her because she's so upset about me wanting to protect her. Does that make sense?

[2:06:10] Yeah, correct.

[2:06:11] And so then you have a problem because you can't protect your partner. And that's really troubling for men. Because we hate seeing our women mistreated. And if the woman says, if you try to protect me, you're kind of the bad guy. In other words, you're making me really upset and I can't handle it. I mean, that's kind of why you hung up yesterday, right? Because this contradiction, I assume, was coming to light. so you won't you won't are you ready for this one you won't you won't submit to his protective authority.

[2:07:06] I was just gonna say i messed it up all on myself no.

[2:07:09] No no i'm not i'm not going to conclusions here i haven't said any negative things about you at all so no i'm not getting to you messed it up and you're like no no no we don't we're not going to do that i don't want you i don't want you to be mean to you either no.

[2:07:24] I'm making that judgment on myself and thinking like.

[2:07:27] No no you're not processing what i'm saying you're rushing to a kind of self-abusive conclusion okay.

[2:07:34] Okay okay sorry i'll just.

[2:07:36] Right so you jump straight into oh i messed it all like that's that's not good i.

[2:07:41] Just got a cold shower there.

[2:07:42] A what like.

[2:07:44] A cold shower like an epiphany like oh right.

[2:07:49] Well that's That's why I'm trying to slow your roll here. That's why I'm trying to slow you down. So you don't jump straight to self-attack. I'm not criticizing. I'm just pointing out the mechanics. Now, you didn't know these mechanics consciously, right?

[2:08:00] Mm-hmm.

[2:08:02] So are there areas in which your boyfriend defers to your judgment?

[2:08:10] Yeah.

[2:08:12] Okay.

[2:08:12] I mean...

[2:08:17] You don't have to give them to me. I'm just, there are areas where you say it should be this way, and he's like, okay, it's your thing, right?

[2:08:26] Yes. I mean, for me.

[2:08:27] Apparently, I have to wear my underpants inside the pants. That's just, maybe it's a Greek thing, I don't know. But I'm just like, okay. And it's not even like, okay, fine. It's just like, yeah, okay. Apparently, we need 4,000 decorative pillars. I don't know why. Maybe asteroids hit us and we're protected. I'm not sure why, but we need them, and they have to be stacked in a particular way and in a particular sequence with a particular shading and gradient scale.

[2:08:54] I don't think I'm that bad.

[2:08:56] No, no, it's good. I love it. It's beautiful. I think it's great. I love living in a girly world, man. It's way better than Bachelor World, which is a futon and a big TV. So, no, my wife makes the world beautiful, and I love it. I don't understand it. It's delightfully incomprehensible, but I love living here. I mean, I live in a model home, so to speak, right? Right. I mean, because I think I think a lot of women have this fear that Architectural Digest is going to come in like a SWAT team and take pictures of their house any time, day or night. Or heaven forbid that mother-in-law is going to come over and run her fingers along the mantelpiece. Oh, a little dusty, isn't it?

[2:09:28] Oh, gosh, that would be horrible.

[2:09:30] Right. Got it. No, I got it. Right. I got it. So there are areas in which he defers to you no questions asked, right?

[2:09:40] Yeah, when it comes to decorating, definitely. Right.

[2:09:44] Yeah. You're the kind of like, no, I think I preferred it back over there. And he's like, okay, I'll be a forklift. Right. Or it's like, do you prefer the left one or the right one? I prefer the right one. No, I think it's the left one. I think that's the better one. Well, I appreciate you giving me the input. Right. So no, it's just a kind of funny thing about men and women. So there are areas in which you have, in a sense, unquestioned authority. Right. yes so in what do you defer to him and he has unquestioned authority.

[2:10:19] Um, it was much of the migration thing.

[2:10:31] No, no, that's not his unquestioned authority because he doesn't have authority in that. He's begging bureaucrats for pieces of paper. So he doesn't have authority where he has authority.

[2:10:42] Um. Hmm. Can I get a few seconds to think on that?

[2:10:53] Yes, but it didn't take you long to think of your authority.

[2:11:00] Yeah, but you led me up to it. It wasn't like you asked, hey, what's your authority?

[2:11:07] All right, fair. A very fair point. Go ahead.

[2:11:12] Should I answer what his authority is?

[2:11:14] Proposal and Logistical Nightmares

[2:11:14] Uh-huh.

[2:11:27] I'm so afraid you're going to say, no, it's not a real authority.

[2:11:31] Why would you be afraid of that? I mean, either it is or it isn't. You just corrected me and I said, that's a very good point and go ahead.

[2:11:40] It's just sort of like the long-term planning of our life.

[2:11:45] Yeah, that's too abstract. I mean, it's very foggy. Like where your will and his will clash, and you just say to him, well, I love you, so I'm just going to, you know, you're better at this than I am, and do what you say.

[2:12:01] I think that when it comes to raising children.

[2:12:06] No, no, you don't have kids yet, so what do you defer to in reality? And this is not a criticism of you.

[2:12:15] I'm trying to think because we try to keep everything very flat and that's probably not good.

[2:12:23] You don't have authority with each other right? Much We.

[2:12:26] Don't really work like that we try.

[2:12:30] Yeah but it's not really working right?

[2:12:34] True.

[2:12:35] Okay, so I'll just give you the real quick view of how you got here. So because you were unprotected as a child, you had to protect yourself. And you couldn't rely on anyone else's judgment because the judgment of your parents, as we talked about last time, was pretty bad. Right? They break up. They make up. They fight all the day. They can't protect their... Not only can they not protect their child from online adults, but they invite him to come and stay in your house, right? So you don't grow up with a sense of protection. And your early memory of your father screaming at your mother that he's leaving and you're feeling that you're going to starve is like, I'm not protected. I'm not safe. Now, if you're not protected and you're not safe, you can't trust. If you can't trust, you can't defer to other people's judgment because other people's judgment sucks. So you can't merge. you can't pair bond. Pair bond is where you trust the other person to the point where I'm like, you know what? You can do half my thinking. You can do half my thinking. Can you imagine? There's two people trying to move a whole bunch of heavy furniture and they never pick up anything together. Imagine how horrible and unproductive that would be. Right? You've got a giant couch and you've got to move it yourself. Pair bond. without anyone helping you. You've got everything you've got to do by yourself. You never pick up half of anything. Does that make sense?

[2:14:01] That makes a lot of sense.

[2:14:02] So you don't know how to trust in the way that you can offload decision making, to your husband, and maybe he doesn't know much about how to trust to offload his decision making to you, but that is a very high level of productive love. It's not just It's great from a trust standpoint. It's great from a practicality standpoint. You just get things done a whole lot easier. I'm sure you know something about the economics of the division of labor, right? That Canada is good at making maple syrup and not so good at making bananas. So it trades maple syrup with a country that's good at growing bananas, right? And that's better, right? So the division of labor and specialization can't occur in a relatively trustless marriage. And I'm not saying you don't trust your husband or your boyfriend. I'm just saying that you don't, I think, know how to offload half your work to him, where he's better at things, and he doesn't know how to offload half his work to you, where you're better at things. that you all you know that's why you want you you say you want to keep it flat you want to keep your decision making equal and so on or or you both have to agree on stuff well that's not good that's not good because when it comes to decorating who's better.

[2:15:29] Yeah me yeah you so he he does what what you like right.

[2:15:37] So it's efficient. Imagine if you had to have a debate about every lamp, every painting decision, every couch, and you both had to come, like, it would be crazy, right?

[2:15:49] It would, actually, yeah.

[2:15:50] Right. So as far as the effects of not trusting others, which, by the by, was completely rational when you were growing up, right?

[2:16:05] That's good to hear.

[2:16:07] I mean, it was completely rational in my view. I mean, your parents couldn't manage their relationship with each other. They did things directly harmful to you, like screaming that the marriage is over and you perceiving you're going to starve to death and not comforting you at all, right?

[2:16:20] Yeah. Yeah.

[2:16:25] I posed the theoretical question to my daughter, right? I said, you know, I imagine, I didn't say anything about this, right? But I said, you know, okay, imagine some, you know, some kid is, is watching her parents fight and she hears all this terrible stuff and then the parents notice her. What should they do? Right. And she's like, oh, go and comfort her. Nothing big bad is happening. We just have a good disagreement. Don't worry about it. Hug, hug, kiss. Right.

[2:16:52] Yeah. They should have done that. Yeah.

[2:16:54] The Impact of Childhood Trauma

[2:16:55] Well, first of all, they shouldn't be screaming these terrible threats at each other.

[2:16:59] Obviously.

[2:17:00] And secondly, if they find themselves in this absolutely petty, vicious and ridiculous and immature situation, they should absolutely take ownership and apologize and promise to do better and do better. Right.

[2:17:13] Yeah, exactly.

[2:17:15] You need to do better. Right. So. So they don't do that. So how are you going to trust them? and you get this relationship and i'm not saying that the relationship with your boyfriend is bad or negative we haven't really talked about that but i mean you've been together for 14 years so something's working right but your relationship was utterly founded on absolutely insane, allowances. The entire relationship with your boyfriend is founded on your parents inviting a 19-year-old who's romantically and sexually interested in their 16-year-old to come and sleep under their roof from another country, knowing how complicated that would be. How could could this work out right i mean the best case scenario is you guys are together and then there's all of this paperwork the worst case scenario is you get your heart broken or something like that how could this work out so the entire foundation of your relationship is untrustworthy unprotection.

[2:18:33] It makes me very sad to hear that but it's the truth isn't it.

[2:18:36] Well Well, you just had your lady brain activated. And I appreciate that. I love the lady brain. But sadness is a female response. What's the male response?

[2:18:53] Anger.

[2:18:54] Right. So when you get sad, you want to go to your parents and get comforted. You want to work it out. You want to talk with them. You want to be heard. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? The male response of anger is what?

[2:19:10] Oh gosh, their response to my anger or.

[2:19:19] No the situation so when you get how the foundation of your relationship with your boyfriend was based on absolutely repellent in my view and bad parenting and you're like well that makes me be sad. And listen, I appreciate that. Love women. And that's a beautiful response. What's the male response to this situation is anger. Oh, well, that's why he can't draw any boundaries because your parents' bad decisions are why you're together. So how can he really draw any boundaries with your parents when it was their judgment that allowed you guys to get started in the first place? There we go. If you'd had better parents, you guys would never be together, right? probably not no of course not because honestly i mean any parent with any shred of self-protection would first of all be talking to you quite a bit about who you're chatting to online, and secondly you know you're a 16 year old young lady you want to date you want to so they would try and facilitate that i mean there were no boys around at that age that you wanted to date.

[2:20:38] No i wasn't interested in, so anything like that and.

[2:20:47] Were there any boys at that age that were pursuing you outside of this 19 year old yes, and why did you prefer the 19 year old do you think and i'm not saying he doesn't have great qualities i'm just i mean they had to be pretty bad around you these guys if you want the 19 year old from a couple of countries over. I mean... There's a language barrier, too, to some degree. Sorry, go ahead.

[2:21:14] I mean, I felt like... I felt like my boyfriend wasn't a creep and that the others were, I felt like they, the others had, didn't have respect for any boundaries that I had. Uh, Like they were awkward.

[2:21:34] Grabby 16 year old boys kind of thing.

[2:21:37] Yeah. Yeah. And my, my preference or like my boyfriend wasn't at all like that. And it was more of a friend. We were more like. you know, like a friendship.

[2:21:50] Right.

[2:21:52] It wasn't, I was, I also got a bit, like, excited because I wasn't sure that he really liked me romantically. So it just kind of, you know.

[2:22:05] Okay, so. You can't be this naive about men. You know, he's my greatest friend, and he wants to come and visit me.

[2:22:17] And no no it wasn't like that it was just like i felt as if i could pick someone here that was touchy grabby immature blah blah or i could put someone over there who i had way better chemistry with and we actually had mutual interests but.

[2:22:38] You understand that he was he in the relationship Relationship grew starting when you were 15. Is that right? Because you said you talked for a year first.

[2:22:51] Yeah.

[2:22:52] Right. Right. He was 18.

[2:22:56] You were 15. You told me this was cursed from the beginning.

[2:22:59] No. See, you keep jumping to these conclusions.

[2:23:02] Okay. I just wanted to know. Good.

[2:23:04] I'm not sure where we are. Where are we going? I know where we are. I don't know. I don't know. But I got to tell you, I mean, I have a 15-year-old daughter.

[2:23:19] Questionable Beginnings and Trust Issues

[2:23:20] If some guy was chatting her up online who was 18, well, that wouldn't happen because we know what she's doing. But what do you think I would do?

[2:23:30] You would do a Liam Neeson on her.

[2:23:34] No, I wouldn't do that, but I would just call them up and say, you know, bro, back off. Get someone your own age. Like, don't do this. This is not right. She's 15. And listen, you were 15 and traumatized.

[2:23:48] Yeah.

[2:23:50] And traumatized, which means that you were younger mentally than your physical age. Because you were untutored, unmentored. You had been unparented.

[2:24:05] Yeah, I was definitely like a sitting duck, yeah.

[2:24:08] Right.

[2:24:09] Yeah.

[2:24:11] And he would have known that.

[2:24:15] Yeah but i don't think that automatically means that he was like a predator or anything i didn't say that okay i just want to get that out of the way but yeah you're right and everything that you said yeah right.

[2:24:27] And the reason i'm saying all of this is you have kids you're gonna have to protect.

[2:24:39] I know that you can literally go into a chat room today and say, hi, I'm 12, want to talk? Yep. And you're going to get 100 messages within 10 seconds.

[2:24:52] I know.

[2:24:52] I know that.

[2:24:53] I know.

[2:24:54] And I would never in my wildest, I honestly, this is something I've thought about a lot. I don't even it doesn't seem realistic to me but I don't know how the hell me and, my boyfriend are gonna like what kind of tactics we're gonna have to avoid this, happening exactly but yeah I think about that very often like, how the.

[2:25:24] Heck your 15 year old daughter comes to you and says I'm becoming great friends with an 18 year old man.

[2:25:32] I would freak the hell out and throw the computer out.

[2:25:35] The Desire for Protection and Boundaries

[2:25:35] Well so so that's a challenge now your, boyfriend it feels weird to call him like boyfriend 14 years i mean you guys i know married longer than most medieval marriages but i know so your boyfriend and i have to go in about, 20 to 25 minutes i'm sorry about that i have an appointment we'll get there okay so your boyfriend friend wants to protect you from your parents. Is that right? He's not a fan of your parents. He knows that you get hurt and upset when you spend time with them and so on. Right.

[2:26:10] Exactly. I also want to say that I want to move into a particular field, a particular small little thing that I want some help with. So maybe we can move along a bit faster if you want.

[2:26:19] Sure, absolutely. So you're going to have to find some way to defer your trust to him where his instincts for protection are, right? This is the male instinct for protection, right?

[2:26:29] Okay.

[2:26:29] Male instinct for protection is, I want to make sure that the people around me have some sense of security, which means malign forces and malign people have to either be resolved, has to be made more friendly, or we have to keep them at a distance. And you won't let that go. And you play him because you know he wants to protect you. And I'm sure that the upset is partly authentic, but the upset is also coming from your parents who want to stay in touch with you. And the upset is also partly manipulative, which is that, you know, he wants to protect you. And if you broadcast a lot of unhappiness when he tries to protect you, that you're going to short circuit his protection and thus not have to draw boundaries with your parents. All right. If you want to go fast, we could do it that way.

[2:27:10] Yeah, sure. Okay.

[2:27:11] All right. So let's get to your topic.

[2:27:14] I'm just not, I'm just going to say one thing. It wasn't like conscious, like I'm not trying to play him out of maliciousness or anything like that. you actually made me aware of this whole dynamic about 10 minutes ago so obviously i'm gonna have to like yeah but you're responsible for it not being conscious yeah yeah yeah you're right okay all right i'm so sorry um i'm.

[2:27:38] Gonna have to actually go a little bit sooner than i thought so i'm happy to hit the gas at the end here and how.

[2:27:43] I was.

[2:27:43] Gonna help you.

[2:27:44] Okay uh i want to know why, like because he says that in the future he wants to move to another country like a country that we haven't you know we don't have any particular connection to he doesn't know which one yet but he says that there's some problems with my country that he just doesn't like, and he wants to move to this third country wherever it might be for career options and I just feel like, no.

[2:28:20] Wait, didn't he just become a lawyer and he wants to change countries? Doesn't he have to retrain?

[2:28:24] I know, but he says he doesn't like this country's values for raising children.

[2:28:29] Okay. So this is your trust thing, right?

[2:28:34] Yeah.

[2:28:37] You're good at some things, he should defer to you. He's good at some things, you should defer to him.

[2:28:44] Can I say my reasons for saying no? I have three.

[2:28:47] What do you mean saying no?

[2:28:50] Not wanting to go.

[2:28:51] Well, no, not wanting to go is not the same as saying no. Is it? I don't want to go to the dentist. Does that mean I don't go to the dentist? I don't understand.

[2:29:03] No, no, I get it. I just want to say that, first of all, um i have a i have a good social circle here that's not my parents uh i have friends who, you know i really really like and who are honest with me um, and are good people with children and i imagine that would be a good community once we got children.

[2:29:40] Sorry, is he concerned about political unrest? Is he concerned about violence or crime in the country that you're in? Or what are his major concerns?

[2:29:52] Just the social aspect being stiff, he thinks.

[2:29:57] Okay, I'm quite sure what that means. I'm sorry, are people cold?

[2:30:02] Yeah, and that's just kind of like the introversion and the aversion to anything that's not their own culture, if you know what I mean.

[2:30:16] Right. Well, I mean, so there's a couple of factors that I would say are probably kind of relevant. Like, he's in his 30s, right?

[2:30:27] Yeah.

[2:30:27] Yeah, so if he's in his 30s, you're in your late 20s, and you want to have kids, maybe it's time to settle the hell down. Stop moving around and stop bouncing around. And I mean, you've got to go start a new place that's new paperwork that's he's got to retrain that's you've got to get a whole new social circle. If it's not like there's got to be civil war, you know, and it's like, well, people are a little cold. It's like, come on, man. I mean, this is where you this is where you train to be a lawyer. Like at some point, you have to commit to your decisions and stop bouncing around like a pinball. all.

[2:30:56] Yeah i know i'm exhausted too.

[2:30:58] The Decision to Settle Down

[2:30:58] Yeah and and it's it's it's not about that because this will absolutely delay you guys getting married and having kids i know so this could be a form of treading water right you know what i mean like this could be a form of, i don't want to move to the next step of my life so let's go on another chaotic adventure.

[2:31:20] Yeah that's my that's what i'm afraid of.

[2:31:22] Because it's not about protection right no okay so he's just the people here are kind of cold so let's uproot ourselves claims.

[2:31:29] That it's a form of protection to our eventual children.

[2:31:34] Are your children are you going to homeschool your kids.

[2:31:37] You're not allowed to homeschool here.

[2:31:39] Yeah okay.

[2:31:43] But he's never talked about that, so I don't think it's that. I just think he thinks that the kid's going to be bullied or something.

[2:31:52] The kid's going to be bullied?

[2:31:56] Yeah, he already made it up in his mind that everyone gets bullied here in those school shootings. I don't know, man. He spends too much time on Reddit reading crap.

[2:32:07] All right. I mean, school shootings are down in most places. I know. Yeah, so here's the thing, though. I would say that's not the actual topic. Like, whatever the topic is, it's not that. And so I would say, figure out how safe and secure you can become in your current environment by trusting each other and see how you feel after that, right? Right. Because if there's something else going on, which is, hey, let's move again. Right. I mean, he's tried living in your country. You've tried living in his country. Let's go live in a third country where I have to retrain as a lawyer. I mean, that's that's a I mean, at some point you've got to put down roots and start a life. Right. And who knows if you're going to like the new country. Right. That's going to be a huge issue. And then you've got to maybe another language barrier and people who can't help you raise your friends. Maybe he wants to get you away from your parents. I don't know. Right. right, but there's something going on that's not that topic, and you guys just need to really be honest and try and figure out what that is.

[2:33:07] I think that he wants to take back some of his, you know, authority.

[2:33:17] I mean, and he may be right in that.

[2:33:20] Yeah.

[2:33:20] You know, it's funny because, I mean, I've talked to a lot of women and a lot of women are like, well, here's where I'm the boss. And it's like, well, where's your boyfriend, the boss? Silence, silence, silence. It's like, well, if you can't submit to him, just as you expect him to submit to you, you can't have a very loving relationship. Because a man looks at a woman who won't submit to the stuff the man's good at and say, she doesn't trust me. And if she doesn't trust me, she doesn't love me. And there's a wholeness at the heart of our relationship.

[2:33:44] Reclaiming Authority and Building Roots

[2:33:44] Yeah. but listen so what you've said is it doesn't make sense to move somewhere new in his mind, uh he's okay let's just assume he's trying to take back authority because, if we move to this place he has to fix everything he has to have authority to get us settled and put down roots i think that's what he's trying to do.

[2:34:11] Here no listen you guys i mean sorry i do have to run but you guys just have to have a conversation and explore where he has authority and figure that out and you're going to have to deal with the fact that i think and for reasons i can completely sympathize with you grew up without a lot of trust in your life and so you want to think through everything yourself that's why the very first thing i said you're kind of an overthinker right and you overthink because of a lack of trust in others and i completely understand that when you were growing up but you're going to have to find a way to trust your boyfriend friend. Otherwise, he's going to perceive that as a lack of love.

[2:34:47] I understand. Can you give me some suggestions on areas where he could be responsible?

[2:34:53] No, that's his job. I can't be authority for him.

[2:34:58] I don't know. Okay.

[2:35:01] Yeah, he's going to have to tell you and maybe obviously there'll be a couple of conversations, but that would be my suggestion. And you have to figure out if there's no area where he's in an authority position, then you'd have a non-trust relationship and that's going to kind of, I think, hamper a lot of progress.

[2:35:19] What is typical? Because, wait, just this last thing, like I'm so, I just feel so freaking brainwashed and by modernism, by feminism. But just give me an idea, please. No, no.

[2:35:35] So you're asking me to be in an authority position with regards to your boyfriend's authority position, but that's his job. So you have to talk to him and you have to find some way to surrender to what he's better at and just as he has already surrendered to what you're better at so that he can feel loved and he can feel trusted. it. And if you have that, then now he may say, well, if you trust me, we'll move to another country and so on. But you'd have to talk more about in the past where he's tried to protect you and you have resisted it with regards to your parents and so on, right? So I think that's important. Anyway, I'm so sorry. I do have to boogie. And if you guys want to talk to me together, that's fine. You can shoot me an email, but I really do appreciate us being able to finish up the conversation and you did a great job.

[2:36:19] Thank you.

[2:36:19] Thanks a lot. Bye.

[2:36:22] Take care. Bye.

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