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most of us need the eggs


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A quote to make the point. The last line of the movie Annie Hall, by Woody Allen.

Alvy Singer: It was great seeing Annie again and I realized what a terrific person she was and how much fun it was just knowing her and I thought of that old joke, you know, the, this, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, 'Doc, uh, my brother's crazy, he thinks he's a chicken,' and uh, the doctor says, 'well why don't you turn him in?' And the guy says, 'I would, but I need the eggs.' Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships. You know, they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd and, but uh, I guess we keep going through it...because...most of us need the eggs.

Many, if not most adults end up getting married, forming a domestic partnership or similar arrangement. There are various reasons why this happens. Society encourages it for one thing. It facilitates parenting and easy access to regular sex (if things are going well). It banishes loneliness if we are lucky and is a source of love and joy and a retreat from the stress of the world. For a lot of people, their spouse or long-term partner becomes the center of their emotional life, and a figure of great meaning and importance and love.

At least that is how it is supposed to work. Theoretically. It doesn’t usually happen quite that nicely. It's easy to enter a relationship with smiles. It is a far more difficult thing to keep a relationship healthy and strong over the long term. Many relationships end up having problems, the romance goes away, and the reasons for staying together get thin. Some relationships become abusive, while others suffer from simple incompatibility. The partners realize they want different things. Many relationships break up, often after a period of great pain and stress and soul searching as to how could this happen.

This is not abstract stuff. If you live for a while you are likely to end up living through rough periods in relationships, and relationships that die. Partners that die, too if you live long enough. Being in a troubled relationship is intensely painful as I can speak to from experience. In the case I'm thinking about, I wanted to make it work but couldn't figure out how to do that without compromising myself in ways that weren't going to work. We went to therapy. It helped some but not enough. Ultimately I decided to leave. Leaving that relationship was, without exaggeration, one of the hardest things I've ever done.

This forum is a place where people living in troubled relationships can talk about them and receive support from others who empathize with their situation. It is also a place for people who have lost a spouse or partner or other significant loved one can talk about that painful experience.

What sort of relationship problems are you having currently? If you are grieving, how is that going? What is the nature of your loss? These are universal sorts of stories you will be telling. By sharing your experience, you will be comforting someone else who will be able to relate to what you say, and feel less alone in the world.

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yes, most of us do. Some decide not to though. Some pick a wrong person because they want the eggs.

I went through a tough grief period. I looked it up and read that I qualified for "complicated grief". I lost my father in April; my first wife the following February. It was pretty rough. Any treatment is, essentially, palliative, as is known.

Joan Didion's book, "The Year of Magical Thinking" is quite good.

Widows/widowers tend to disappear [ or get disappeared]; to suffer in silence. There are, of course, few words that give relief. Half of life is being there. I do hope that therapists pay a bit of attention to this from time to time.

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  • 2 months later...

I am currently having a hard time trying to make the decision of whether or not to take my husband (D) back after he rejected me.

He wanted to go to South America (he's a surfer) and live. He had recently made quite a bit of money, so he quit his job (he was essentially self employed anyway) and he said he just wanted to have fun for a while and maybe open a business in South America. He says he knew I wouldn't be happy living there, which is true, so he said we should separate. I was very upset at this revelation and said he was crazy for wanting to throw away 22 years of marriage on such a whim, because he was bored.

A few details about my family before I continue. We married in our early 20s and have two young adult daughters who are living at home for the summer. Our oldest daughter is moving to CA in July and youngest daughter is dealing with the resent onset of bipolar disorder in her boyfriend of 3 years. D has been taking trips to Central and South America frequently for the past 3 years or so. I do not believe he is in another relationship, although that would seem logical.

We came to a compromise that he would go for 3 months and come back home. At that time, he would decide whether he would go back to SA permanantly or stay home. About 2 month into his stay in SA he informed me by email that he was only planning on staying home for 2 weeks when he returned. I asked if this meant he was planning on staying in SA permanantly and he did not answer clearly. He said he was not happy in the town where we live and he was happy in SA. He said he just wanted to wander around there and have fun and didn't really want to work much.

In my response, I asked if we should start separation/divorce proceedings, because it looked like this is where things were headed. He said we should separate and think about divorce later, if appropriate.

A couple of weeks later, he called me on my office phone at work and became very emotional, telling me things he had never said before like he was not "in love" with me, but he loved me like a sister. He said we did not have an emotional connection that he needed. I was unable to respond because I was at work in a cubicle and I did not want to be overheard.

I became very upset and distraught after that. I started having panic attacks and my doctor put me on anti-anxiety meds. I am seeing a counselor once a week to try to cope with this issue.

D came home about 2 weeks ago and said he wanted to continue our marriage. He said the reason he left was because he was bored and wanted to have fun, but now he was ready to come home. He says he said those things on the phone because he was upset, but still thinks some of it is true.

So now he wants me to take him back, but he has not expressed any remorse over his initial decision to leave or the things he said over the phone. I would accept him wanting to have a better emotional connection, and if he would have expressed it differently, I would have been happy to attend counseling together and do whatever it took to help our marriage be better. But now, I am having a really hard time accepting him back after what he has said and done. I am strongly considering asking for a separation, and have already suggested it, but he seems to think I don't really mean it.

Should I take him back to save the marriage that I so desperately wanted to save at first, and take the chance that he will become bored or unhappy and take off again? If this happened again, I don't think I could handle it.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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  • 3 months later...

I have been through severe loss over the past 9 years one right after the other. My husband left me while my dear mother was dying. Our divorce was final in 2000. I also was laid off at this time (office politics) (one of three times so far) . I had to put my two dogs that were part of the family down due to sickness and old age. All this when I had given over half my life to my marriage. The divorce was final in 2000. I have been humiliated over and over. I met him at 16 years old. My father was a drunk. I believe due to his childhood. His mother died when he was 4 years old and all 8 siblings were put out to work farms in Canada. God knows what happened to him. We had thought that his father died but just found out that the father left all 8 kids on the work farms and went on to marry another woman and had another 8 kids. He never abused us physically.

Now almost nine years later. I have always thought of myself as strong and independent. I have always been a fighter, but it seems lately that I have a lot of anger issues. I want to be left alone. When I am alone I feel safe. My mind is blank. I can't really think. I cry often, although I had thought I could not cry anymore tears. I don't trust people. I feel empty. I feel ill a lot. I am going in soon for surgery for a possible partial bowel obstruction? I feel like I am on the outside looking in. Its all just an act. Its not who I really am. I'm gone sort of. I'm not there anymore. Its hard to explain. I am two different people. One at work and one in my private life. Its like I am frozen, yet I go through the motions. Can anybody relate? :confused:

Is this Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome?

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Hi Oriannastarr-

PTSD is characterized by several groups of symptoms. First, people have stressful, intense, highly vivid and disturbing memories of the traumatic event during the day or at night. Second, people do their best to avoid anything that might remind them of the traumatic event. Third, people have an exaggerated startle response (they overreact to loud noises, for example) and heightened anxiety levels. I am not seeing these types of symptoms in your description of yourself. Do you have these types of experiences? If you want more detailed info about PTSD, go to our topic center, where we have lots more information you can read.

Could you give us a little more information about yourself and we might be better able to identify a diagnosis that is likely? The best way to obtain the most accurate diagnosis, though, is to see a mental health care practitioner in person.

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Yes, I can't stand loud noises. Motorcycles, barking dogs, loud music. I jump if someone comes in on me when I am in deep concentration. Basically, I had a lot of stress in my marriage. I used to be fun loving and easy going now I need quiet. It's funny because I have a volatile temper when provoked. I mean I dont back down if I feel someone is being abused. I would be one of those people who are in the front line on the boat with Greenpeace to save the whales. I guess I am a fighter but I am tired of fighting. I feel like this miserable mean person. I was on Prozac but stopped taking it, as it put a lot of weight on me and I am not feeling well from the weight gain. They told me I have metabolic syndrome. I did see a mental health counselor through the employee assistance program at my job during the divorce. I went to them myself, no one knows at my job and they sent me to this counselor. I am very preceptive of people and she did not give a dam about me and my problems in the end I stopped going to her. I have this old PCP who give me what I ask for. I had did some research and asked for the Prozac. I have this edge. I need something that can take the edge off without gaining weight? Do you know of any meds. I looked it up and did some research and I cannot find anything except Adderall that can do that?

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I would encourage you not to think that all therapists or forms of psychotherapy are useless based on one negative experience. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit in terms of a therapist.

I am not entirely sure what you mean by "take the edge off."

If you have symptoms of depression, you would most likely benefit from an antidepressant (such as Prozac, that you took before). However, there are many different antidepressant meds that can be used, some of which do not cause weight gain.

If you have symptoms of anxiety, then an antianxiety med or antidepressant med would be helpful in the short term. However, these medications typically only work for a short period of time, not for the long haul.

Adderall is a stimulant medication that is typically used to treat ADHD. If you don't have the need for a stimulant, it can actually hype you up more.

You can read about each of these conditions and the different medications that are used for each in our different topic centers.

Most often, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the best way to address any of the above conditions.

I would very strongly encourage you to start by getting a referral to a mental health practitioner who can then assess and diagnose you. We have a find a therapist section on our website, as well as an article telling about the different types of therapists out there. Self-diagnosing and then taking medications based on this self diagnosis is never a good idea. These drugs are potentially dangerous and can have negative side effects. The best place to get mental health medications is from a psychiatrist.. as this person has been trained extensively in how to prescribe and tweak medications based on each individual.

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I am sure I have depression. I have looked up all the meds and have watched people on them including myself with Prozac blow up with weight gain. What I mean by the edge is. Certain things set my teeth on edge, I feel like I am ready to blow up. Basically I am on edge. My nerves are strung. For example I was relaxing quietly riding home from work. I was on the last mile before I got home and it is a long stretch. Well a car was in front of me. He had to slow down to turn on the stretch, while I continued to go forward further to my home. Of course I slowed down, so that he would not feel crowded or rushed. I was already going the speed limit of 40.

Now keep in mind I was calm the whole time until this a-hole behind me starts beeping his horn because I slowed down a little to let the person turn instead of going around him as he wanted me too. I was not thinking at the time and it did not make any difference anyway because he wasn't going to get anywhere any faster. You know what difference does it make? I look in the rearview mirror and he has his hands in the air. Like my god he lost one second because he had to slow down for one moment. I am not a pokey driver. Of course I am not a finger person but you know. I threw up my hands (he could see me) and shook my head like what the hell, deal with it!

Then he tail gated me all the way until I turned, as I would not go over the 40mph speed limit. I don't have much faith in the human race you know. I don't like people much anymore. All SSRs put weight on you and kill your sex life. Thats what I have found. They have cures for male impotence but not for females. I just want to rip someones face off when I am provoked like that! He was lucky it wasn't a 350lb man with my attitude and a 350 barrel shotgun.

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